written by Mary R. Dunn
2011 (Capstone Press)
Source: Orange County Public Library
Check out Nonfiction Monday at Practically Paradise
Here's what I know about opossums: 1) They can play dead. In the South we call it "playin' possum." 2) Opossums have long tails. Better to hang on a tree branch and look cute. 3) The cute thing comes in handy since these critters are actually mean as fire. Have you ever seen an opossum's teeth? The words "razor sharp" come to mind. Don't mess with an opossum. 4) Opossums are nocturnal. I find this to be a positive since I am not. Lessens my chances of meeting one on my turf. So this is the extent of my knowledge about these creatures. What did I learn after reading Opossums?
1) There are opossums that weigh only 1.4 ounces. This is tee-tiny. 2) Opossums eat rodents. I would place a check on the Plus/Delta chart for this characteristic. 3) Opossums live only one to two years in the wild. Wonder how much human interaction plays into this? 4) Sixty kinds of opossums. My guess would have been much lower. Like one. The mean one.
Opossums is a good nonfiction choice for a late first grade - early second grade reader. It's not very long, but it is excellent practice for reading nonfiction and using it to fill in graphic organizers and/or compare to your background knowledge. A first grader could use this book to help write an opossums book or a page of a book about nocturnal animals. Here is a link to more information from National Geographic: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/opossum/.