I must admit that I am addicted to this series right now. The ones that I don’t have in my possession, I have on hold at the library. I took four of them into a sixth-grade classroom I was subbing in the other day and they were an instant hit with the kids. I asked the question on the front of the book to the kids, I had them raise their hands to see which species got the most votes. I then gave them a picture walk of the information contained in the book and then I quickly walked them through how the fight went on at the end of this nonfiction children book. They were all ears, hoping that the species they choose won. Some decided to change their original hypothesis after I told them some of the facts inside the book but I loved how they all were listening and wanting to know the outcome. Afterwards, I had some of the kids wanting to read the books for their read-to-self books. Now, that is a testament to these books.
With bright, colorful, realistic, illustrations these books are a gem. Using a variety of font styles and sizes the information is scattered throughout the pages in an easy to read format. With one side of the page devoted to one species and the other species devoted to the other. I liked how the author compared and contrasted the information of the species inside the book, whether it be its habitat, it’s size, how fast it moves, it’s skeleton or what it eats, etc... Each book also has text boxes with Did You Know? Information and some other text boxes with Fun Facts, Bonus Facts, Important Facts that contain interesting information. At the end of the book, is the duel between the species. I find these duels rather comical as they are like watching a WWW match. Every move, every piece of action is written down so it feels as if you are actually there. In the end, there is only one winner. Will it be the one that you had chosen?
In Polar Bear vs. Grizzly Bear, I liked how the author talked about hair color, paw size, and about their skeleton. The story about their fight was not what I nor the students had hoped for and we had quite a discussion about this, which was good.
In Komodo Dragon vs. King Cobra, I learned a great deal as I knew nothing about Komodo Dragons. Everything about them was interesting and new to me. Some of the students also didn’t know much about them so I was happy about that. The information on both these species babies was interesting, the skeletons was cool, their venom was interesting and their teeth got some aahhs from the class. Again, they predicted the fight outcome although they didn’t want it to occur.
In Killer Whale vs. Great White Shark, this is the book I liked the most. I could have shown almost every page in this book as there were lots of interesting and informative pages in here. Their teeth sizes, the differences in sizes between the males and females plus the differences in their fin sizes, direction of their fins, how individuals look to these species, how they swim, and their brains. Such great information and boy, did this book spark the conversation. I am definitely picking up a copy of this one for myself.
So now I have to wait for the books at the library to come in, can’t wait to see what things I don’t know.