Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Getting to Know Animals through Picture Books

Every so often I'll read a picture book that instantly makes me think of a bunch of other picture books that would make a good connected text set. When it happens with a topic that is both engaging to kids and also connected to curriculum concepts they may encounter, even better.

When I read How Do You Take a Bath? (out today!), I smiled at how adorable it was, but also appreciated how it could connect with science concepts about animals. Even though it reads as a book aimed at a younger audience about bath time with a specific fact about how each animal cleans itself, it also connects well with other recent picture books that share fun facts about a variety of animals through engaging picture book formats with great illustrations.
Follow elephants, pigs, monkeys, hippos, and more in this charming rhyming picture book from veteran author Kate McMullan. How does a pig take a bath? It sinks in the mud! What about a chicken? It thrashes about in dust! And a cat? Why, it licks itself clean, of course! Sydney Hanson's adorable illustrations toggle neatly between animals in nature grooming themselves and humorous depictions of children attempting the animals' bathing tactics. By the end of the book, the child finally makes his way to the bathtub, no mud baths or lick baths about it! 

After you read this one, consider checking these others out to share with kids in your life, especially those who are curious or love learning more fun facts about animal characteristics.

An important note: These books are all good choices, but admittedly, they are very White. I had difficulty finding picture books I had read about animal characteristics from IPOC creators. We know already from the work of CCBC that there is an inequality in diverse representation in characters in children's literature, and from Lee & Low even more lack of diversity in the authors/illustrators. But with this particular topic, I struggled even more to find any. If you have recommendations, please share them!

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