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A Strange Place to Call Home: The World's Most Dangerous Habitats & the Animals That Call Them Home Hardcover – August 22, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Why would some animals choose to live in extreme heat, cold, dryness, or darkness? Fourteen poems celebrate the unusual animals that have adapted to equally unusual habitats where competition is lighter and safety from predators is greater. Humboldt penguins burrow eggs along the dry coasts of Chile and Peru rather than riding on ice floes; snow monkeys stay warm by huddling in hot springs rather than swinging from trees; and ice worms wriggle beneath glacial ice rather than soil, aided by their natural antifreeze. Other poems, including the styles of free verse, rhyming, haiku, triolet, villanelle, and terza rima, describe the adaptations of blind cave fish, mudskippers, mountain goats, and petroleum flies. The final poem, “City Living,” shows adaptation in progress as red foxes adjust to urban sprawl. Young’s textured paper collage illustrations help evoke some of the planet’s seemingly less hospitable locales. Endnotes offer more information about each animal as well as the poetry forms used. This enlightening collection brings beauty and respect to strangeness. Grades K-3. --Angela Leeper

Review

"Fascinating, enlightening, and strikingly illustrated." - School Library Journal

"Singer's poems marvel at unlikely existences." - Publishers Weekly

"This enlightening collection brings beauty and respect to strangeness." - Booklist
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (August 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452101205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452101200
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,013,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marilyn Singer was born in the Bronx (New York City) on October 3, 1948 and lived most of her early life in N. Massapequa (Long Island), NY. She attended Queens College, City University of New York, and for her junior year, Reading University, England. She holds a B.A. in English from Queens and an M.A. in Communications from New York University.

In 1974, after teaching English in New York City high schools for several years, she began to write - initially film notes, catalogues, teacher's guides, and film strips. Then, one day, when she was sitting in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, she penned a story featuring talking insect characters she'd made up when she was eight. Encouraged by the responses she got, she wrote more stories, and in 1976, her first book, The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn't, was published by E.P.Dutton & Co.

Since then, Marilyn has published over eighty books for children and young adults. Her genres are many and varied, including realistic novels, fantasies, non-fiction, fairy tales, picture books, mysteries and poetry. She likes writing many different kinds of books because it's challenging and it keeps her from getting bored.

Marilyn currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband Steve; their standard poodle Oggi, seen in the home page photo; a cat named August ; two collared doves named Jubilee and Holiday; and a starling that says, "Hi. How are you? Sweet Birdie. Okay!" Her interests include ballroom/Latin dancing, dog training, reading, hiking, bird-watching, gardening, playing computer adventure games, and going to the movies and the theatre. She's also a major Star Trek fan.

Marilyn is the former host of the AOL Children's Writers Chat and currently co-hosts the Poetry Blast at various conferences. Visit her web site: www.marilynsinger.net.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LP Salas on October 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
These terrific poems explore the weird habitats of particular animals. I especially like the rhyming poems and/or poems in specific poetic forms. Here's just one fun one!

A Fish in the Air

Welcome to this mangrove stand.
Go on, you're allowed to stare.
Here, fishes walk on mud and sand.
Welcome to this mangrove stand,
Not quite water, not quite land.
Here, fishes perch to breathe the air.
Welcome to this mangrove stand.
Go on, you're allowed to stare.

I immediately had to go online and find some pictures of these unique creatures. (What are they? You have to read the book to find out!). And that's one of my favorite things about this collection--it makes me curious. I want to know more! That's exactly the effect I want when I either read or write nonfiction poetry: awe at what the poem shares, and curiosity about what else there is to learn.
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