I was looking for interesting science books for my 3rd graders and was happy to find this great book by Gail Gibbons. Gail Gibbons has written over 170 non-fiction books. She is great at explaining concepts in short bursts with careful illustrations. Her book topics are wide-ranging including: trains, tunnels and animals of all kinds.
With Halloween approaching and our 3rd graders studying animal adaptations, bats seem like a natural choice for this week. This books begins with general information, including: the fact that bats are nocturnal, that they are shy and gentle, and that they are mammals. It continues information about their body structure, where they roost, their use of echolocation to find food, different types of bats and what they eat.
Our 3rd graders were really engaged as I read. The pages provide just the right amount of information for students to absorb while they looked at the pictures and asked questions. We play a game in my library. Our students challenge my co-worker and me to find information about a topic from the books in our library. Yesterday, our students challenged us to find out how bats land upside down. We were able to find some information on our shelves about how bats land. Today, I cheated a little and found a great video on the internet, courtesy of the New York Times, showing how bats defy gravity and land upside down.
Quest is the incredible sequel to Aaron Becker’s 2014 Caldecott Honor Book, Journey. It, like Journey, is a wordless book with breathtaking illustrations.
I particularly like to use wordless books with my fourth graders. They are a restless bunch, usually wanting to talk amongst themselves rather than listen to a read aloud. With a book like Quest, I stand in front of my students and page through the book for them as they “read” it to themselves.
Even those students who were reluctant to pay attention quieted quickly. Quest held their attention so well, you could only hear the whispers as they “read” this book and said soft “aahhs” at the beautiful illustrations. At the end, my intractable group smiled and clapped. They loved it!
Quest begins at the end of Journey. (To be sure my students understood this, I showed them Journey first and then Quest.) The two children, a boy holding a purple crayon and a girl holding a red crayon, meet a king who gives them a written message, with multiple colors on it. The king is abducted by soldiers and taken away. The boy and girl use their crayons to try to save the king using the clues in the message he gave them. To see if they succeed, read this wonderful book and enjoy.