STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Animal Partners

Animal PartnersAnimal Partners
by Scotti Cohn; illus. by Shennen Bersani
32 pages; ages 4-8
Arbordale, 2015

It’s hard to choose “opening lines” in a book filled with poems about animal partnerships. But here’s an example of one:

Behold the wily crocodile.
Who will scrub his pointy smile?

This book is a collection of poems that examine partnerships between animals. Usually, animals hang out with others of their kind. But sometimes one species associates with another if there’s something to be gained. The crocodile mentioned above allows a small bird to hop into its mouth and clean between his teeth. In another poem, a sea turtle laments the barnacle attached to its shell, while another investigates a partnership between warthogs and mongooses.

What I like about this book: The poems are fun, short, and snappy. And the author explores different poetic forms. I like that there’s backmatter: the author describes different types of symbiosis and gives examples of each kind from the text. There’s a “match the animal partners” game and a “name the habitat” challenge. But I wish there was a page that described the different creatures. Especially the pseudoscorpion, a tiny arthropod I’ve come to know.

Head over to Archimedes Notebook to check out Beyond-the-Book activities.

STEM Friday

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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