Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"About..." books by Catherine Sill

It's rare to find museum-quality paintings in a book targeted for young children, but Catherine Sill's books in her About series have that unique feature. About Hummingbirds (2011), an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, pairs text consisting of one- or two-sentences per page with full page illustrations. The format of the text makes this a perfect book for young students to read independently. Facts such as "Hummingbirds are found in different habitats" are supported by husband John Sill's beautifully detailed paintings, called Plates. In the Afterword section, each plate is further explained with addition details. This book has 18 such plates. Other features include a glossary, suggested books and websites for additional information, and the resources used by Catherine in creating the book.

A second book by Sill is About Deserts (revised edition 2012). This is one of her four books pertaining to habitats (Mountains, Grasslands, and Wetlands are the other habitats profiled in this series). Similar in format to the Hummingbird book, simply structured text is supported by realistic paintings on full page plates. One of the best features of this book is that it includes features of a desert that students would typically consider (heat, plant life, sand) as well as those they might not. Deserts, categorized by rainfall amounts, are typically thought of as hot and dry -- but they can also be cold and dry! Both are included in this book, along with locations of various deserts around the world.

Interested in more nature-based books by Catherine Sill? Check out her booklist here.

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