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A Strange Place to Call Home
ISBN: 9781452141251
Author: Singer, Marilyn/ Young, Ed (ILT)
Publisher: Chronicle Books Llc
Published: March 2015
Retail: $7.99    OUR PRICE: $1.99
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Binding Type: Paperback
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Annotation: Poetic text looks at fourteen animals who defy the odds by living and thriving in Earth's most dangerous places.
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Animals
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Environmental Science & Ecosystems
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Poetry
Library of Congress Subjects:
Animals; Habitations; Juvenile literature.
Animals; Habitations.
Dewey: 571.1
LCCN: bl2015005188
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 2-3, Age 7-8
Book type: Easy Non Fiction
Target Grade: Preschool
Grade level: Preschool
Physical Information: 0.25" H x 25.00" L x 8.50" W
Bargain Category: Non-Fiction, Growing Up, Geography, Early Elementary, Animals, Picture Books, Reference, Science, Upper Elementary
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Marilyn Singer is the author of more than 90 books for children and young adults, including A Stick Is an Excellent Thing, A Full Moon Is Rising, and the award-winning Mirror Mirror. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Washington, Connecticut.

Ed Young has illustrated more than 80 books for children, many of which he also wrote. He is the winner of both the Caldecott Medal and the Caldecott Honor. He lives in New York.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring)
This book about exotic animals that inhabit Earth's intemperate environments is a successful mingling of elegant poetry with the natural sciences. Singer introduces facts via poems in free verse and traditional forms such as haiku, triolet, and sonnet. Young's textured, thoughtful collages, as well as endnotes on the animals discussed and on poetry forms, make for a unique and well-rounded volume.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2012 August #2)

Singer (A Stick Is an Excellent Thing) approaches zoology from a literary standpoint in 14 idiosyncratic poems, with cut-and-torn-paper imagery by Young (The House Baba Built). Each spread features one species and the bizarre conditions in which it thrives. Ice worms squirm "beneath the glacial ice/ helped by their own antifreeze." Flamingos feature in a villanelle set in the salt flats they occupy: "This harsh and salty land—/ Flamingos find it grand." Torn, fibrous brown papers, representing a sandstorm, dwarf a nearly hidden camel; crumpled iridescent paper suggests the shimmery wings of petroleum flies: "Thousands/ of them are born/ in carrion, water,/ or soil. But not this crew. They hatch/ in oil." Endnotes provide paragraph-length descriptions of each creature, yet the experimental verse and minimalist collage can keep the remarkable animals abstract and distant (" limpet is resourceful/ Its fine construction/ employs suction./ In other words, its thing/ is mightily to cling"). Better shared than read solo, Singer's poems marvel at unlikely existences. Ages 6–9. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator's agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, McIntosh & Otis. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2012 September)

Gr 4–8—Singer's poetic celebration of 14 animal species is fascinating, enlightening, and strikingly illustrated. The featured birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, insects, and mollusks have all adapted, over centuries, to life in extreme environments such as ice floes, salt lakes, and pools of oil, where they have found safety from predators and less competition for food. Many of the poems have unique, lilting rhythms; some are written in unusual poetic forms-triolet, cinquain, villanelle, terza rima-others in free verse and varying rhyme schemes. Singer demonstrates her ability to create vivid mental pictures in as few as two to five words. (The dipper-a songbird that eats aquatic insects and fish from clear streams and waterfalls-is "bathtub-toy small"; the limpet-a shelled sea creature's "…fine construction/employs suction." Singer has incorporated definitions of unusual words: "simoon," "hydrothermal vents," "intertidal zone," into her poems. Young, master of collage, has created a series of perfectly engineered stylized pieces that accurately portray the poeticized creatures by oh, so carefully piecing together torn and cut paper of varying thicknesses; photo segments showing lots of texture (prickly cacti, dune grasses, fur, wood, clouds, fibrous materials); foil; small basket clippings; pictures from magazines; and much painted paper. Six pages of endnotes include details on each animal species, along with brief information and a Web address that offer further details on poetic forms. This lovely, informative volume will attract poetry and animal lovers and prove useful in the classroom, as well.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, Ohio

[Page 134]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.