Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea
by Sy Montgomery. Illustrated by Nic Bishop. Nonfiction Photo Essay. 80 pages. Grades 3-9.
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When the rare tree kangaroo is perched high in a tree it looks a little like a monkey and a little like a bear but it is actually a kind of kangaroo. This engrossing book follows scientist Lisa Dabek's adventures tracking them down in Papua New Guinea and, for the first time ever, attaching a radio collar to find out about the mysterious creatures' habits. This is full of remarkable photographs and engaging writing.
The team ventured high into the mountains of the cloud forest of the tree climbing mammal's habitat to learn as much as possible. The author's, photographer's and scientists' passion about their expedition and the tree kangaroo is everywhere evident and contagious.
This is another brilliant book by the Montgomery/Bishop team. Other titles include The Tarantula Scientist and The Snake Scientist.
There is a bibliography and an index included along with other back matter. It's great for inspiration as a model for great nonfiction writing style. It's also a wonderful source for research into a specific animal or into science careers in general. This is a wonderful example of what it's like to feel great passion for one's work.
The Frog Scientist by Pamela S. Turner. Illustrated by Andy Comins. (2009, Houghton. ISBN 9780618717163. Order Info.) Nonfiction. 58 pages. Gr 4-9.
Amphibians around the world are experiencing a dramatic decline in numbers. This book details African-American biologist Tyrone Hayes' experiments on the effect of pesticides on frogs. Hayes' passion and strong work ethic are contagious and a worthy model for readers wondering what might be possible for them. This is another great entry in the "Scientists in the Field" series. Read More.
The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer. (1984, Knopf. ISBN 0 679 86187 4. Order Info.) Picture Book. 32 pages. Gr 1-3.
When Brian finds a salamander in the woods, he takes it home to live with him. By addressing his new pet's needs, Brian gradually creates a forest environment in his bedroom. The vivid illustrations depict the bedroom-turned-forest. The text allows the reader to discover the world of the forest layer by layer and to better understand the interdependence of creatures and their environment. Read More.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. (2009, Holt. ISBN 9780805088410. Order Info.) Novel. 340 pages. Gr 4-8.
Set in 1899 Texas this is the coming of age story of Calpurnia, the lone daughter in a family with six brothers. She longs to be a naturalist and is fascinated by the development of species while the gender roles set out for her continually thwart the discovery of her ambitions in science. Read More.
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