Curious Comparisons: A Life-Size Look at the World Around You by Jorge Doneiger, translated from the Spanish by Iraida Iturralde and The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Weird, Wild Names by Matthew Murrie and Steve Murrie, illustrated by Julie Benbassat

Published by Candlewick

Curious Comparisons: A Life-Size Look at the World Around You: Doneiger,  Jorge, Chouela, Guido, Sisso, David, Setton, Marcelo: 9781536200218:  Amazon.com: Books
Curious Comparisons: A Life-Size Look at the World Around You by Jorge  Doneiger, Guido Chouela, David Sisso, Marcelo Setton, Hardcover | Barnes &  Noble®

Published by Workman Publishing Co.

The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Weird, Wild Names:  Murrie, Matthew, Murrie, Steve, Benbassat, Julie: 9781523508112: Amazon.com:  Books
The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Weird, Wild Names:  Murrie, Matthew, Murrie, Steve, Benbassat, Julie: 9781523508112: Amazon.com:  Books

Summary:  For those kids who enjoy books filled with quirky facts, here’s a double dose.  Curious Comparisons is an import from Argentina showing true-to-size photos of an eclectic mix of animals and objects.  A pound of feathers and a pound of lead; the amount of water a lion can drink at once shown in empty water bottles; a pile of thread representing an unraveled shirt: each item is shown on a white page with a fact or two and often a question.  There are a few fold out pages: glasses filled with the amount of milk a cow produces and the flowers needed for a bee to make a pound of honey.  Includes 4 pages of additional facts about each page.  64 pages; grades K-5.

Screaming Hairy Armadillo starts off with several pages explaining how animals are named, including a description of scientific classification.  From there, the 77 animals are profiled, everything from the monkeyface prickleback to the bone-eating snot flower worm.  The animals are grouped by name: funny names, fierce names, magical names, delicious names, and just plain weird names (looking at you, headless chicken monster).  Each animal gets a page of information; a sidebar telling its species, habitat, and a fun fact; an illustration; and sometimes a photo.  Includes a couple pages of awards (for different name-related categories); how to discover and name an organism; a weird and wild name generator; a glossary; a list of websites for further research; and information on conservation organizations.  176 pages; grades 2-5.

Pros:  Books like these are almost too easy to book talk.  Just show a page or two, maybe read a fact or share a couple of weird names, and boom, kids are clamoring for them.  The photos and simple text in Curious Comparisons makes it a great choice for any elementary grade.  Screaming Hairy Armadillo will appeal to older kids, and contains a lot of great information in addition to the animal profiles.

Cons:  Curious Comparisons seemed a bit random to my well-ordered, Dewey-Decimal-trained brain.

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