Topics – adaptation, habitat
Summary – We humans like to think ourselves the most clever of species, but in Tooling Around: Crafty Creatures and the Tools they Use, Ellen Jackson shows us just how “crafty” the creatures around us are. From dolphins that wrap their beaks in sponges to protect their beaks while digging in the sea floor to bowerbirds that use colors from fruit pulp to paint their nests, Jackson teaches us about some amazing animal tricks. She writes using simple rhyming phrases in the primary text with secondary facts accompanying each animal. I love this technique of providing the extra information right with the story so that you can choose how much detail you’d like to learn. The naturalistic illustrations help us to see the habitats of these animals and to visualize just how they complete their crafty feats. Extra information at the end of the book helps the reader to learn more about tools and the specific animals in the story. Chosen as a National Science Teachers Association Outstanding Book of 2014, this is yet another great Charlesbridge picture book that presents factual information from the natural world through simple, compelling text.
Suggested Ages – This book is suitable for young children as well as grade school early readers, as each reader can choose the level of detailed information they’d like to draw from the book.