Monday, March 14, 2011

Mix N'Match Monday: A Pet Skunk?!

I missed blogging on Friday, I guess I was just too tired after running a book fair all week and two Praxis tests to take the next day (not one of my better decisions).  But here are a couple of books to share with kids who are into atypical pets.

A Pet for Petunia
by Paul Schmid
HarperCollins, 2011.
ISBN: 9780061963315
Grades K-2
Reviewed from personal copy.

Petunia wants a pet, but not just any pet.  She wants a skunk (a live one, not a stuffed one like the one she carries around for almost the whole book).  Her parents are naturally horrified by this, but Petunia is persistent.  She promises to feed it and brush it and be responsible for it.  Her parents tell her that skunks stink, but this does not seem to phase her.  Will her opinion change once she runs into a skunk for real?  I'll let you read and find out.  I must admit the twist at the end surprised me.  In a fun way of course, I laughed out loud catching the attention of a teacher walking by.  This is a delightful book, perfect for sharing with young readers who desperately want pets of their own.  The pictures provide a nice complement to the humorous text. There are few children who won't be able to relate to Petunia.  However, you may wish to combine this book with this next one, in order to discourage students from wanting skunks of their own.


Skunks
by Sandra Markle
Lerner Publishing Group, 2007.
ISBN: 9780822564379
Grades K-5
Reviewed from personal copy.

Sandra Markle has a gift for writing nonfiction like a storybook. I especially appreciate the fact that her writing matches the illustrations to perfection.  I find it very irksome to be reading a nonfiction book in which the illustrations don't match what the author is describing.  That is not a problem in Markle's books.  This particular book is part of a series called Animal Prey.  Each book focuses on a different animal prey.  Markle introduces us to the life of a skunk, what it eats, where it sleeps, and how it deals with predators.  All the information needed to get a good overall picture of the life of a skunk is presented, but it is presented in a narrative which is great for reading silently or out loud.  I have several of Markle's books in my library and my students love them. Highly recommended.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Markle does not ignore the more gruesome aspects of life in the wild.  There is nothing overly graphic in this book but the books on predators generally depict these awesome hunters doing what they do best.

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