written by Fran Hodgkins; illustrated by Wendy Smith
2011 (Treasure Bay)
Source: Mebane Public Library
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Most of the information in Amazing Eggs is what you would find in many nonfiction books about animal eggs. Since this is for Level 1 readers, that is to be expected and makes perfect sense. Readers will learn about the eggs for different animal groups such as amphibians, reptiles, insects, and birds. This makes for a good opportunity for readers to be able to compare the different animals and learn what is the same and what is different about the eggs. Other information is a little out of the ordinary such as the egg tooth that enables a baby snake to break out of its soft but tough shell. There is also a section on the platypus which is always cool. The mix of photographs and illustrations are engaging and there is a generous use of labels which is what you want to have for beginning readers. But this is not unusual and can be found in other nonfiction books. So what makes this book stand out from the plethora of animal books that you find on the market and will make you part with your money? A little thing the publisher calls We Both Read. Other companies may do this, but I haven't seen it in my public library or my school in the 3 years that I have been blogging. Here is how it works: Each two page spread starts with a page on the left that is full of facts that are read by an adult. This fulfills the need for "wow" facts to be imparted. The right side of the spread is a "kid-friendly" page that is to be read by the child. The text is much easier to read and the font is larger which allows the child to use their finger if needed to track the text. This is a great idea that allows nonfiction to be shared as a nighttime reading experience or in the classroom with an adult reading volunteer or a buddy reader from an upper grade. Beginning readers get to feel like they are on equal footing with a reading helper and I think that can do a lot to boost confidence and create a desire to read more. More books in the We Both Read series can be found by clicking the link above.