By Maria Gianferrari
I won a non-fiction picture book by Maria Gianferrari: TERRIFIC TONGUES! And I think it is pretty terrific! Did you know that “if you had a tongue like an arrow, you might be a Chameleon?” On the same page is greater detail. “The chameleon’s tongue hurls toward its prey, as quick as a toy arrow shot from a bow.” Did you know its tongue can slurp up prey as large as a lizard or small bird? I used to watch the little chameleons on my mother’s kitchen window in Mississippi. I marveled and their ability to catch insects, but I didn’t know they could capture such large prey!
This amazing book addresses the tongues of twelve different animals, and then has more information in the back matter! The illustrator, Jia Liu, has created very engaging pictures to capture the interest of most children, while they are learning about the structure and function of the tongues of various animals. I must admit I learned a lot, and I have a biology degree!
It is advertised as written for ages 4—8, but I think you could easily extend that to age 9 or 10. The reason is the main story line is aimed at younger children, but interspersed are more in depth “shorts” about each animal. I can easily imagine an older sibling sharing this book with a younger one, and both learning a lot!
Gianferrari, Maria, and Jia Liu. Terrific Tongues! Boyds Mills Press, an Imprint of Highlights, 2018.
Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.*
Performance Expectation Grade: K-2
Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
Performance Expectation Grade: 3-5