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Little Skink's Tail Hardcover – August 10, 2007
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What can I say? I'm in love!!! Little Skink's Tail is, by far, one of the cutest books of all time. By and far, this is a story that inspires imagination all the while teaching a great lesson. --Ready Set Read Reviews
With vivid illustrations by Laurie Allen Klein and a perfectly pitched mix of imagination and science by author Janet Halfmann, Little Skink's Tail is a fantastic picture book addition for your collection. --Reading Rumpus
This book not only teaches about animals, and their physiology, but has a great lesson to be learned about being happy and comfortable with who you are. --Books Ahoy!
Teachers' Choice Award (Character Education category).
The Teachers' Choice Awards honor products of exceptional quality and outstanding performance in the classroom and at home! Our panel of teacher evaluators use each product in their classrooms and homes to find the best products for teachers and parents.
Top customer reviews
Little Skink was having a perfectly nice day right up until the moment a hungry crow decided to make a quick snack of her. Snapping off her own bright blue tail (as skinks tend to do in these situations) she escapes beneath a log as the crow dives for the still wiggling ex-extremity. The next day Little Skink feels a bit bereft without her tail. Looking at some of the other animals in the forest, she contemplates the advantages of growing one tail over another. Bunnies have nice tails but they're awful puffy. Squirrels would be fun, but there's a bushiness there to be reckoned with. Systematically Little Skink rules out the advantages of having the tails of deer, skunks, porcupines, owls, and turtles, each time imagining the tails on her own body. A couple days later, though, the perfect tail grows back. One of the bright bottle blue persuasion. Factual back matter round out the book by teaching kids about animal tracks, navigation, and the evolutionary advantages of one tail over another.
The book could have gone wrong a variety of different ways. If Halfmann had made it too cute and filled it with adorable talking woodland creatures, for example. Or she could have made the skink actually grow these tails rather than just imagine what they'd look like. Yet Halfmann is pretty adept at keeping strictly to the factual elements of her story. If the book is cute, that's only because it never trips into preciousness. The narrative is straightforward as well. Personally, I might have suggested turning the various tails Little Skink tries out into bright blue versions, but I can see why the decision was made to keep them their original colors. A child reading this book might have a hard time connecting a bright blue deer tail to its subtler, browner equivalent, after all.
Laurie Allen Klein's endearing skink is probably the real reason I wanted to get my hands on the book, though. A clever idea will get you only so far in the picture book market. If your illustrator is sub-par then it really doesn't matter how wonderful your words are. No one is going to purchase a picture book if they think it looks unprofessional. Fortunately for everyone Klein's illustrations are a nice mix of cute and accurate. She plays with angles and perspective enough to keep the eye constantly in motion. The ratio of animal sizes in this book is consistent as well.
According to the bookflap of this title, Sherry Crawley, Director of Education for the School and Family Programs at Zoo Atlanta, went through this book to verify the accuracy of the information. Certainly the back matter is fun and nicely educational. Still, though this section is useful in many ways, I would have appreciated more time spent discussing skinks and their amazing regeneration abilities. Just a quick sentence or two about the critters would have been sufficient to my needs. All that aside, "Little Skink's Tail" is a nice example of a simple idea brought to life in a picture book format with plenty of factual matter to complement the fiction. An ideal purchase for those parts of the country overridden with skinks, and those parts that know nothing about them and would benefit from a well-written story. A book worth noticing.
Nature has a way of helping out every creature on earth. Little skink is no exception and is quite exceptional. Janet Halfmann tells us the tale of little skink and her beautiful blue tail of when it was and when it wasn't and...
Laurie Allen Klein captures the very essence of the world in which Little Skink lives and it is breathtaking.
Published by Sylvan Dell Publishing.
#PB #nature #skink #animals #habitat
First off, both girls (4.5 years old) giggled as the skink "tried on" each different tail, so they enjoyed that and liked finding out that there is an animal that can drop its tail and grow a new one.
But a big bonus to this book for us was the monarch. We raised monarch butterflies this past summer and the girls are totally into them, and the same lizard loving twin also loves "secret" things and eye spy things. On the second page you first see a monarch caterpillar walking on a branch, a couple pages after that you see if making a "J", and each couple of pages you see it in a different stage until the last page it is a butterfly on a flower. The girls loved looking on each page for the next incarnation of the monarch.
Another fun surprise in this book came at the end, there were two educational activities. One was a matching (pictures of tails to the write up on the animal it belongs to and why it has that kind of tail) and a mapping exercise, something the girls had never done before and really enjoyed and learned from.
A definite recommend!
The story of Little Skink is a visual and audio delight. The descriptive words Janet Halfmann chooses give the reader fun words to roll off their tongue like puffy-fluffy, wiggly waggly, flick and fluff, and stickily-prickily. I imagine the children listening to this story will have as much fun with the words and images as the reader does.
The artwork by Laurie Allen Kein is essential to the story's enjoyment. Little Skink's Tail is exquisitely illustrated. The animals come alive, displayed in their natural beauty and appeal. This is a story with heart, personality, and fun on every page. It is available in English and Spanish with audio. The audio book is as much a treat for the ears as the book is for the eyes