By: Michelle Lord
Illustrated by: Cathy Morrison
Publisher: Sylvan Dell
Publication Date: March 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2013
The decorator sea urchin was hiding beneath “colorful algae, rocks, and coral.” These things offer him some protection that he might not have if he simply lay at the bottom of the ocean floor. A colorful fish swims by him, but can he see that decorator sea urchin? Perhaps, but maybe a predator might not see him and would wander on by. We all know that one thing: “Urchin recycles. / How about you?” A hermit crab peeks out from beneath a borrowed sea snail’s shell. Children play on the sand as he watches. The hermit “cannot grown his own shell,” so he recycles too. Once the shell he is wearing becomes a bit crowded, he will find another one.
A Carolina wren sings out as she lines her nest, a nest she made in an old boot. “Tea-kettle. Tea-kettle.” She has found all kinds of things no one wants any more, including “used feathers and dog hair too.” Yes, she is another creature who recycles. An elf owl peeks out from “an old woodpecker hole in the hundred-year-old saguaro cactus,” a hole that she has recycled. “Yip. Yip. Yip.” Yep, recycling is important. You’ll also learn about several other animals in nature who do just that, including the veined octopus, a Galapagos Island woodpecker finch, a dung beetle, mound-building termites, a caddisly larva, a poison dart frog, and an Asian elephant. What do you recycle?
This is a fun and fascinating look at many creatures in the wild who recycle. Full-page, full-color artwork swirls though this book as it illustrates many unusual ways that nature’s creatures ingeniously reuse and recycle as they help themselves. One of the more interesting ones is when we are able to watch the Galapagos Island woodpecker finch use a cactus spine to spear a grub for dinner. Newly independent readers can tackle this beginning nonfiction book with a bit of assistance with more difficult words such as “precipitation.” In the back of the book are several activities that can be downloaded and printed from the publisher’s website. This would be an excellent book to read and discuss in the homeschool or classroom setting.
Quill says: This is the perfect book to introduce young students to recycling and creatures of the wild who do just that!