Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Have You Heard About the - Ahem - "Who Pooped" Series?

It's "back to school" time and that means back to learning!  And let me tell you, these picture books are so interesting, your kids might not even realize they're getting a science lesson!

The book I'm reviewing today is Who Pooped in Central Park? by Gary D. Robson, illustrated by Robert Rath.  Both men live in Montana, and they have done a whole series together of the Who Pooped? books.

The Who Pooped in the Park? series is an ideal tool for teaching young children about animal behavior, diet, and scats and tracks identification — it’s the perfect companion in the car or classroom, or in the field on your next trip to the park. Fun illustrations of the animals and their scat and tracks supplement the charming story, and a quick-reference chart at the back makes field identification a breeze.

Robson's picture book series started out in Yellowstone National Park, and the concept was so popular that other national parks began requesting their own editions. All of the editions feature 8-year-old Michael and his family touring different parks and learning about the animals through their poop and prints. The story is similar in all of them, but the animals and landscapes are all different. (Go here for a list of all the books).

In Who Pooped in Central Park? your child will explore this city park with Tony, Lily, Jackson, and Emma as they come across different animal scat (poop) and tracks (footprints) and discover which animal made them.

Each two-page spread features extra facts, "The Straight Poop", about some of the creatures found in Central Park, such as:

Eastern screech owls were reintroduced (brought back) in Central Park in 1998. "Owl pellets" that you might find under a tree aren't scat - they're bones, fur, and feathers that owls cough up after eating small animals whole.

My kids would have loved reading these books as we travelled around to places like Zion, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks!  The colorful pictures show nice detail, but are almost cartoon-like, which will make even the most reluctant readers pick up this book (the title helps too, haha)! 

At the end of the book is a handy reference of "Tracks & Notes", showing all the animals discussed in the book and that can be found in Central Park.

This series has sold over 400,000 copies to date, and Who Pooped in Central Park is the 20th title that encourages kids to put down Pokemon Go for a while; and it helps them identify the real animals, insects, and tracks in their own backyard--even in the middle of the city!

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