Publisher’s description: What animal would you be if your finger bones grew so long that they reached your feet? Or what if you had no leg bones but kept your arm bones? This picture book will keep you guessing as you read about how human skeletons are like—and unlike—those of other animals.
My thoughts: As soon as I read the e-galley of Bone by Bone, I ordered a copy for our school library. It’s rare to find a book on life science that’s so appealing for very young children, yet has lots to offer for upper elementary kids, as well.
The various fonts are visually appealing without feeling too busy, and delightful illustrations help readers to imagine what they might look like if they had, say, extra vertebrae (a tail) or finger bones that reached the ground (like a bat’s webbed fingers). The information is delivered in a clear, straightforward manner with a Q&A format that will get kids predicting before each page-turn.
The back matter–sections titled More About Bones and More About Vertebrates, and recommended books and websites for further reading–can all be used for differentiating instruction for kids who want to go more in depth with the information in the book. Struggling readers or English Language Learners can use the illustrations to grasp the book’s main idea.
Although this is an any-time-of-year book, it would be fun to include Bone by Bone in a Halloween display. Highly recommended.
P.S.: Scroll down this post’s comments section for some great ideas suggested by the author herself, Sara Levine.
Hand this book to the kid who:
* is curious about how things work
* loves animals (Bone by Bone‘s author, Sara Levine, is a veterinarian)
* claims to be a budding scientist
* Enjoys “guessing” books with a Q&A format
Use this to teach:
* Animal Units–All students in the U.S. study animals and habitats at some point during their elementary school years. Most non-fiction animal books for young children cover the basics: habitat, diet, life cycle, protection, etc.. But if you’re teaching kids to use more than one print resource in a research project, this would give them additional facts not usually found elsewhere.
*Comparing–One of the things I like best about this book is that every skeletal feature that the reader learns about an animal is compared to what that same feature would look like in a human. Older kids can use math to calculate comparisons by percentage. For example, the book tells us that a giraffe vertebrae is 10 inches long. Let kids research how long the average human vertebrae is and calculate the giraffe-to-kid ratio.
*Health–With all of the math, language arts, science and social studies standards that we have to cover in a year, health is that subject on the report card that often gets the short shrift. Using Bone by Bone in the classroom covers language arts, science, math and, that report card step child known as health.
* Non-Fiction Text Features–Introduce young readers to these non-fiction text features from the book: labels, key words in color (vertebrates and non-vertibrates), and glossary
The Nitty Gritty~
Classroom resources and author interview here.
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group/Millbrook Press
Publication Date: August 1, 2013
Number of Pages: 32
Interest Level: K-4