Too Hot? Too Cold? Keeping Body Temperatures Just Right
written by Caroline Arnold; illustrated by Annie Patterson
2013 (Charlesbridge Publishing)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Check out Nonfiction Monday at The LibrariYAn
People and animals live in hot places and cold places all over the world. In every climate, people and animals find ways to keep their body temperatures just right.
To quote the great philosopher Goldilocks, this book is not too hot or too cold. It is just right. After the introduction to the book, the difference between warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals is explored. Science teachers will be happy that the terms endothermic (warm-blooded or animals that produce their own body heat) and ectothermic (cold-blooded or animals that need heat from outside their bodies) are introduced. The next section explains how our bodies keep us warm or cool. My students know that they shiver or have goosebumps when their skin is cold, but they would have a hard time explaining why this happens. Now they can know that muscles "shiver" to contract and generate heat in their body. They will also know that tiny muscles in the skin tighten and make the lumps that make "goosebumps". Students will also be intrigued to know that cats curl up in a ball when they are cold and stretch out to cool off their bodies. This explains why my cat stretches in front of the fire. The last section of the book discusses what people and animals do to be warm or cool. There is a great explanation of estivation, which is like hibernation except it occurs in the summer. For example, lungfish burrow into the mud to avoid the lack of water when the river dries up. I was also fascinated by the common poorwill. It is a bird that hibernates for weeks or months at a time.
Can I gush? This is a fantastic book. It is filled with so much information that will interest your students. Too Hot? Too Cold? will explain many body functions that students experience, so connections will abound. Caroline Arnold does a terrific job of providing examples for all of the concepts in the book. Kids love animal books and they will love this book. Find a copy of Too Hot? Too Cold? for your animal and human body units.