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Wildlife on the Move Set Review by Cassie Deputie

Includes:
A Snowy Owl Story
A Blanding’s Turtle Story
A Monarch Butterfly Story
A Little Brown Bat Story
Melissa Kim Islandport Press
207-619-9975
PO Box 10
Yarmouth, Maine 04096
http://Islandportpress.com

We have raised our family to be a family of readers. Laying this foundation must start young! Finding different types of books for toddlers and young children to read and explore opens them up to how exciting different types of books can be! Board books are especially well known for toddlers since they can withstand being thrown, chewed on, and being packed into a little duffle bag or diaper bag. However, most board books only contain silly stories that keep young children entertained; rarely do you find an exquisite board book that has a healthy amount of educational content in it.

Melissa Kim created some beautiful and educational board books called “Wildlife On The Move” series that follow animals through their natural (or unnatural) habitats tutoring the reader in scientific, biological, and geographical knowledge without them even realizing it! These books include the titles: A Blanding’s Turtle Story, A Monarch Butterfly Story, A Little Brown Bat Story, and A Snowy Owl Story.

A Snowy Owl Story follows a young Snowy Owl who went out on a hunt in her home in the Arctic. Through her hunt we gather the knowledge of what this owl eats, where she lives, where she travels when looking for food, how she hunts, as well as where she doesn’t usually live. The Snowy Owl travels too far from her natural habitat in search of food! Concerned neighbors call the fire department to rescue the lone, misplaced creature and return it to its home.

A Little Brown Bat, my personal favorite, takes a misunderstood and frightening animal and paints a picture of how beneficial bats are to humans as well as the importance of taking care of these delicate creatures. Again, across the pages of this book we learn of the brown bat’s diet and living conditions. We discussed what “nocturnal” means as well as shared a few stories of my husband and I both contracting dangerous mosquito viruses when we were little and how bat’s help humans by eating these mosquitos. After reading this story, my family dreamed of owning a farm house and building bat houses to protect our crops and ourselves from pests!

A Monarch Butterfly Story is a short story of a boy named Leo who took on the challenge from his grandfather to find a way to help save the Monarch butterfly population. He came up with a plan! He was going to build a butterfly garden! As we follow Leo’s journey we learn many facts about the Monarch such as where they lay eggs, the different growth phases and transformations a butterfly goes through as well as how far they migrate in the colder months. I could not believe how much I didn’t know about these fascinating creatures. I think I was more enlightened by this book then my 2-year-old!

A Blanding’s Turtle Story follows a turtle as she moseys about her life, finds a mate, eats some tadpoles, and searches for an ideal location to build a nest. A traveling family discovers the wandering turtle and, in an attempt to rescue her, they place her in a basket and call the nature center. They discovered that placing the turtle right back where they found her was the best course of action. The turtle goes on to make a nest, lay ten eggs, and, two months later, out hatch baby turtles prepared to repeat the cycle laid forth for them!

Need a reason to keep these books in good condition and hold onto them for years to come? Well, every book includes some tips and ideas for children to mull over pertaining to how to take care of the animals around them. Examples are building bat houses, calling the fire department to rescue animals, place animal crossing signs, or craft a garden specific to promoting an endangered species. But an even more prized aspect of these board books is that each book contains a page at the end that includes a short but thorough description of the animal or the event being described in the pages as well as some bullet points of important information. My older kids loved to meditate on the back page of these books after reading it to their little brother further exploring the animal at hand.

These are so much more than just your typical board books. They are truly an educational tool, a wetting of your child’s palate to explore concepts in the realm of science, yet they are short, colorful and sweet enough to catch the attention of the toddling youngster.

- Product review by Cassie Deputie, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018

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