Thursday, April 30, 2015

Salamander Season by Jennifer Keats Curtis, J. Adam Frederick, & Shennen Bersani

About the book: One cold, rainy, spring night, a young girl and her scientist father participate in “Salamander Night” to follow hundreds of spotted salamanders as they venture into a vernal pool to mate and lay eggs. Together, the father-child team studies the salamanders through their complete amphibian metamorphosis, culminating in the adult salamanders' disappearance into the woods in late summer. In easy-to-understand text, the girl relates the tale through her illustrated, photographic journal.

Review: This is a well-done book teaching a young child in terms and pictures they can understand the scientific life-cycle of the Spotted Salamander. Father and daughter stroll through the evening and discover yellow spotted salamanders crossing the asphalt road and going to a vernal pool.

What is a vernal pool? CLICK HERE for pictures and information. "Biological description of a vernal pool - A vernal pool, because of its periodic drying, does not support breeding populations of fish. Many organisms have evolved to use a temporary wetland which will dry but where they are not eaten by fish. These organisms are the "obligate" vernal pool species, so called because they must use a vernal pool for various parts of their life cycle. If the obligate species are using a body of water, then that water is a vernal pool. In New England, the easily recognizable obligate species are the fairy shrimp, the mole salamanders and the wood frog."
The photographs are really great as they picture the various stages of the spotted salamander. Other illustrations are done with ink and crayon. I especially like the For Creative Minds pages at the back of the book which cover "Salamander Classification," "Spotted Salamander Life Cycle Sequencing," "Salamander Nights, and "An Environmental Biologist." There is top-notch information on these pages.

Although this little book is designed for the grades K-3 or age 4-8 child, I see it being useful on into the upper elementary grades. The story is easy flowing and packed with tidbits of information that will pleasantly educate the youngster.

Highly recommend this book for its scientific pack and appeal to the child and educator.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Arbordale Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are those of the reviewer. No compensation was provided for this review.

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