Ruth (Berman) Strother is a veteran author and editor who has developed countless books for children in the areas of natural science, pet care, and biography, among others. Spanning the continent, Ruth was born in New York, grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is now trying to warm up in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and two Labs.
As a classroom teacher, I was impressed with many
aspects of this book. It's perfect for research reports because of
its beautiful photographs and interesting morsels of information.
The graphic design of the contents page, on which the page numbers
are in bubbles, is interesting and inviting. The map and
diagram are perfect for this nonfiction text. The glossary, with
challenging vocabulary words and easy-to-understand definitions,
was an excellent and crucial addition to this text. And I liked
that the text boxes were highlighted with a different font and
print color. The book is great for a classroom read-aloud. The
colorful photographs, entertaining information, and print size
allow the book to be used in small- and large-group settings. The
text is interactive, asking readers questions throughout. My
favorite part of the book was a photograph series depicting an open
clam on one page and a bear digging diligently for a clam on the
next. Because most students have never seen an open clam, it was a
great idea to show it before showing a bear digging for one as a
treat. A lightning bolt at the top of a page warns that a new idea
will be discussed. In summary, the book has many excellent
possibilities. It's an easy read for a child, a great read-aloud
for teachers to supplement a unit of study, an entertaining book to
read independently, and/or a useful book for a research report for
an early childhood reader.