Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Review: Little Skink's Tail

Author:  Janet Halfmann
Illustrator:  Laurie Allen Klein
Review Copy Provided by: Sylvan Dell Publishing 

About the Book:  While Little Skink hunts yummy ants for breakfast, she is suddenly attacked by a crow! But she has a trick to escape – she snaps off her tail, and it keeps on wiggling! Little Skink is happy to be alive, but she misses her bright blue tail. Little Skink’s Tail follows Little Skink as she daydreams of having the tails of other animals in the forest. Readers will enjoy pretending with her, trying on tail after tail. The first is too puffy-fluffy, and another too stinky! Then one day Little Skink gets a big surprise…and she doesn’t have to dream of tails anymore.

My Review:  Little Skink is just a cute little character!  I have never seen a children's book about a skink, and this one is just adorable.  Children will love the use of onomonapeia, like sniff, sniff; and gobble, gobble, gobble, as well as the author's use of rhyme, like stickly-prickly, as Little Skink makes his way through the forest.  Teachers will have ease in reading this to their students because the print is large and kid friendly.  I think that children will learn from this enjoyable story and not know that they are even learning because the author does a great job of showing how the skink uses his tail to trick predators, but grows it back again.  This is a concept that fascinates children.  I feel like there's a message here for kids and I'm all for author's doing that with their books.  Many times children are unhappy with a part of themselves and they dream of it being different or like somebody else's.  Little Skink learns that even though the other animals had fine tails, not one was right for her.  "A skink needs a skin's tail."  Laurie Anne Klein used watercolor to create beautiful pictures for this story.  It looks as if the pictures are on canvas because the texture seems to come through the page.  The animals she's painted are so real looking, yet have faces that kids will love.  Another thing about this book that I liked is that there is an educational section in the back titled, "For Creative Minds," that can be photocopied or downloaded from the publisher.  The activities are a Footprint Map and Tail Matching Activity.  Children will have fun with these.  I really enjoyed this book and will be recommending it to parents, teachers and my school librarian.  This book is appropriate for 4-8 year olds. 

Little Skink's Tail is the recipient of the President's Book Award from the Florida Publisher's Association, the 2009 Teacher's Choice Award in Children's Books from Learning Magazine, and most recently earned the Mom's Choice Award as one of the Best Three Children's Books of 2009 as well as the Gold Award in the Educator's Choice and Animal Kingdom categories.  You can see the announcement that Janet sent me, here.

Teaching Activities for Little Skink's Tail


Katie said...

I received a copy of this book and will be reviewing it, hopefully later this week!

Janet Halfmann: said...

Thank you so much for reviewing Little Skink's Tail and for recommending it to others. I love that you posted a link to the publisher's Teaching Activities for the book. They are great. Thanks again!

Kaye said...

I reviewed this book also and thought it was just adorable. The tail matching activity at the end is so interesting. The illustrator is wonderful. What kid wouldn't want this book read to them over and over again?

Hoarders Extraordinaire said...

This book looks adorable! Another to add to my list of great kids books to get hold of for the future grandbabies ;)

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