Sunday, March 25, 2012

Picture Books (Science): Underground Animal Life

I was delighted when I saw the new Spring 2012 series The Hole Truth:  Underground Animal Life by Bearport Publishing.   There are currently four books in the series:  Chipmunk’s Hole, Fox’s Den, Groundhog’s Burrow, and Prairie Dog’s Hideaway.   

Some Noteworthy Aspects of the Series
The books are visually appealing.  Each two-page spread has a title on a wooden sign hovering between the grass above and the underground.  It fads in to light green, making it easy for the text and photographs to pop off the page while signifying the theme of the series:  the mysterious underground world of the animal.  The right page is always a full page view of some aspect of the animals’ lives, usually as vivid and detailed photographs.  Text is added to the photographs, which is great for sight word and vocabulary development.  Small leaf icons offer additional information.  The books are also interactive.  In small text boxes, children are asked to imagine and to predict.  These prompts could be used as discussion prompts or as informal writing activities.   The books close with a Science Lab activity and a visual glossary of Science Words. 

Information about Specific Books
Foxes are magnificent creatures.  Recently, I caught a glimpse of one in the wild.  I was in awe!  This book reveals a great deal about their lives, adding to my admiration of them.  The pictures are nothing less than stunning!  The photographs of newborn cubs are priceless.  I also love the action shot of a fox pouncing.  Each page turn is a wonder.  I enjoyed seeing what a typical den looks like and witnessing their life cycle and daily activities at different levels of development from birth to adulthood. 

Prairie dogs are adorable!  The photographs catch them digging a burrow, doing a jump-yip (to warn others of danger), collecting food, and growing up from infancy.  Their burrow is more elaborate than the foxes.   It even includes a “listening room” to avoid predators.  The information about their communication and family life is of particular interest.  The book is an engaging read. 

Final Thoughts
Dee Phillips is the author of The Hole Truth series.  She does a brilliant job balancing writing a straightforward text for easy understanding and early reading while also keeping the information informative and interesting.   I highly recommend the series for ages 5-10.  

This post is linked up with Science Sunday at Adventures of Mommydom and Sunday Showcase and Momto2lilPoshDivas.  

Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received copies of these books from Bearport Publishing in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. 


  1. This looks like a great series. The photos look fantastic. I like that it encourages children to imagine and predict.

  2. I was having problems with commenting earlier, so now it's finally letting me comment.

    Foxes and groundhogs are some of my favorite animals. They amuse me very much.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!


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