"The best children's stories are wisdom dipped in art and words." -Peter Reynolds

Friday, April 11, 2014


Rainforest by Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris was newly published in 2013 by Scholastic Inc. It is an informational, nonfiction book that goes into great depth about the rainforest! This text is definitely for upper elementary students and above because of the level of complexity.

The Table of Contents lays out the topics/headings for each page in the beginning of the book.  The book is split into three major parts: All about rainforests, Rainforest animals, and The essential rainforest. Then once you turn to that page... wow, there is a lot going on here! The page is overwhelmed with beautiful photographs of real rainforest animals, landscape, plants, and people. The page numbers are clearly labeled and the titles are emphasized. There is also a great deal of nonfiction text features on each page including headings, text, interesting facts, text boxes, labels, definitions. There are some pages where the orientation of the book needs to change so one can read the page (Kids LOVE that!). I especially love that the last few pages are dedicated to saving the rainforests and encourage children to help. Afterward there is an in-depth glossary that is very child friendly and a very detailed index.

Rainforest does not follow a predictable pattern or layout but this does not make it harder to read. It actually makes it more fun! There is SO much visual information to process through the photographs and text that it is virtually impossible for a reader to get bored. Rainforest would be a great text for teaching nonfiction text features or even for students to use for independent research. I definitely recommend this nonfiction book for grades 3 and above as they will find it fascinating!

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