Friday, August 17, 2012

A Whale of a Tale: iPad book app

A Whale of a Tale:All About Porpoises, Dolphins, and Whales
written by Bonnie Worth
2012 (Oceanhouse Media)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Check out STEM Friday for more math and science links

During visits to the Georgia coast, my family has thought about taking a dolphin cruise. I would require massive amounts of Dramamine and as a result have a hard time staying awake, but it might be worth it to see the dolphins in the wild. Thanks to Captain McElligot's Cetacean Station, I don't have to make this decision in the near future. The good captain takes The Cat in the Hat and others on a cruise to see animals in the cetacean group like dolphins, porpoises, and whales. The first part of the trip points out that this group of animals are mammals and compares them to land mammals and fish. Labels abound to help readers make these comparisons. For example, Thing One and Thing Two compare the motion of a fish tail and a whale tail. Fish flap their tails side to side while whales flip their tales up and down. There is also an excellent demonstration of how different cetaceans capture their food. Some cetaceans use teeth while others have baleen that strains krill. Another section deals with the difference between dolphins and porpoises. This helps if you are at a restaurant and have to explain why the waiter, when they bring your mahi-mahi, mentions that you are not eating the dolphin most kids associate with.  As you read, you get great sounds to enhance your reading. I love the sounds in this app. You hear the sounds of the ocean, whether it be the water or the sound of the animals. It is one of the shining qualities of this app and a great teaching tool when you want to let students hear the sounds made by these animals.

This app is very accessible for young readers. You can read it yourself and or have it read to you. More sea mammal facts abound in A Whale of a Tale so join Captain McElligot's Cetacean Station and avoid the motion sickness.

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