Happy Earth Day! If your weather is as nice as ours is today, it’s the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fact that spring has finally sprung. If April showers have upended your outdoor plans, then a good book may be just the ticket. Yesterday, I had the privilege to read to a class of second graders for an Earth Day celebration, and one book in particular captivated this rambunctious crew. Critter Litter: See What Animals Leave Behind masks itself as an educational read with a hidden surprise on each page. Each photo spread is dedicated to one of 12 different animals and features fun facts, photos and illustrations. The biggest attraction is the lift-the-flap feature that reveals the “critter litter” this dirty dozen leaves behind. While at first blush, this may not seem like the best choice for a classroom read–especially the day before spring break. But within minutes, this book had the kids “ewwwing” and “ahhing”…but wanting to know more. I loved that the animals we learned had everyone sharing stories of their own critter encounters, like one kid who came face to face with a deer in his backyard and another whose dad built a contraption to keep pesky raccoons out of her garbage cans. We also made a guessing game out of the size of each animal’s business and threw in some vocabulary words like “scavenger” and “nocturnal” for good measure. Critter Litter makes for a most engaging, memorable read–one that kids will surely laugh about and learn from.
In a Nutshell: A fun book that will get kids talking and thinking, long after the last page has been turned.