Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Review - On the Move

On the Move: Mass Migrations

By: Scotti Cohn
Illustrated by: Susan Detwiler
Publisher: Sylvan Dell
Publication Date: March 2013
ISBN: 978-1607186168
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2013

The herd of caribou sticks close together as they begin their migration. A calf bleats to his mother as she walks along. There are many different types of animals that migrate and “they do this to find food or to give birth in a warm, safe place.” Migrations take place in every season, but each group of animals has their own reason for moving from one place to another. In the spring it’s time for the spotted salamanders to head to wetland pools. It is there where “they find their mates.” The females lay their eggs that cluster on the plants. The sandhill cranes also are on the move in springtime. Their “warbling, trumpeting, chirping” fills the air as they fly. It’s time for them to move and to mate as they migrate.

Horseshoe crabs gather on the beaches to lay their eggs in the spring. Red knots are also on the move and take the opportunity to steal the horseshoe crabs’ eggs when they can. Common green darner dragonflies watch the crabs and the red knots, but they will not migrate until the fall. At the end of summer when early fall approaches, “thousands of chimney swifts are on the move.” They are heading south, but will “swirl down into the smokestack to spend the night.” In this book you will meet many animal groups who migrate at different times of the year. You’ll learn about the free-tailed bat, the monarch butterflies, polar bears, cottonmouth snakes, northern elephant seals, salmon, and gray whales.

This is a fascinating glimpse at the mass migrations of animals. The times and reasons for migrations vary, but the artwork in this book brings excitement to the topic with full-page, full-color depictions of the animals. The locales vary so children who live in different parts of the country may have seen some of these animals in motion. For example, because the monarch butterfly has a wide migration route, many children will be familiar with them. Newly independent readers can tackle this beginning nonfiction book with a bit of assistance with more difficult words such as “amphipods.” In the back of the book are several activities that can be downloaded and printed from the publisher’s website. This would be an excellent book to read and discuss in the homeschool or classroom setting.

Quill says: This exciting book about animals on the move would be an excellent book to introduce young students to animal behavior!

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