Friday, July 9, 2010

More Life Size Zoo: Give Me More!

There is something about a life-size picture that will grab a child. Teruyuki Komiya's Life Size Zoo did just that, with it's amazing photographs of more than 20 animals ranging from a fold-out page showing a rhino's horn to favourites including a lion and mother and baby elephants and animals that kids may not know quite as well such as a capybara, an anteater or a sloth.
What makes the book absolutely extraordinary, and work particularly well not only for outreach but also for an ESL audience, is that each page incorporates some really interesting facts, placed along either the side or the bottom of these truly amazing photographs. Children will be captivated by the photographs and will learn from the information. I'd never known that a rhino's horn is actually hair. This was the most popular book in the outreach (K-6) I did this spring, in an area with a very high population of ESL children.
I was absolutely delighted to see a second book in the series, More Life-Size Zoo. The quality of the photographs hasn't changed, nor has the information in the sidebars: on the page with a picture of an adorable seal, there are several leading questions, facts and tidbits in addition to the information added to the photograph. A standout is a foldout of a lion: because of the lion's size, the page needs to be folded out twice! These are books that are guaranteed to leave readers wanting more. Luckily, they will be able to look forward to Life-Size Aquarium, which will bring them up close to beluga whales among other underwater denizens.

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