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Spots...Page One

        SPOTS; COUNTING CREATURES from SKY to SEA

 

by Carolyn Lesser, illustrated by Laura Reagan

Published by Harcourt, 1999

 

 

 

Kirkus review, March 1, 1999

 

In this visual feast from Lesser and Regan, so striking are the oil-and-gouache wildlife portraits, that despite the counting book framework, numbers are nearly an after thought.  Every spread has a you-are-there quality, as if readers are peering into a rock-strewn stream to spy six fire salamanders or scuba diving alongside one leopard ray in murky blue.

 

The book opens with an invitation….”Spotted creatures/wait for you.  Snoop and find them/count them too”…as Lesser toys with language using active verbs to describe the kinds of activities for which each animal is known: 

 

“Staring, rippling, jetting spots, five reef squid.

“Loping, grazing, nibbling spots, seven reticulated giraffes.”

 

     Although spots are the unifying theme, the creatures have been carefully selected not only for their markings, but for the habitats or biomes, identified and outlined in a final fascinating glossary, making this a great book to introduce biomes in an environmental science unit with students in grades 1- middle school.

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