Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Animalium: a unique way to visit the museum!

Animalium by Jenny Broom and illustrated by Katie Scott. Big Picture Press an imprint of Candlewick Press, 2014. Recommended for ages 7-12 (but will be enjoyed by all ages). 

Turn off the TV, power down the devices, and take the children to the museum ... simply by picking up this book.

With its oversize format, a bronze-colored admittance ticket, and a cover crawling with a display of colorful, intricately drawn animal life forms, this visually impressive book will instantly grab children's attention. Who wouldn't want to pour over this remarkable book designed to capture an awe-inspiring visit to a museum? 

Turn the pages and step into the "museum."  At the "Entrance," the "curators," Jenny Broom and Katie Scott, welcome children and invite them to "See for yourself how the tree of life evolved from the simple sea sponge into the diverse array of animals found on Earth today (p.1)." 

A breath-taking two page spread of the "Tree of Animal Life" follows. The curators explain that this unusual tree illustrates " ... how organisms that appear to be very different have ... evolved from one another over millions of years ... Children (and adults) will find it fascinating to follow the branches up from the stem (Invertabrates) to see the development of and interelationships between animal life forms.  For example, a lungfish and a cockatoo once shared the Vertabrate branch. The curators note that the further away from the stem a species is, the more the species has evolved in order to survive.

As children continue turning pages, they enter individual "galleries" (or book chapters) which are " ... arranged by shared characteristics and in evolutionary order to show how the animal kingdom... (p.1) " developed over eons of time into invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Read my complete review-and see some fabulous images from the book- at Good Reads with Ronna. Thanks to Ronna Mandel for donating a copy of this book to our library.

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