Binoculars are not something that we have yet had in our home,
whether for schooling or playtime--but we are about to amend that
situation! Habitat Spy has given us the opportunity to
explore various habitats right from the comfort of our living room
couch, inspiring us to take it outside. Not only does the book
contain beautiful depictions of home grounds from the backyard
to the beach to a cave to a desert, but the rhyming narrative on
each page directs a sort of spy game, as my child seeks to point
out each element and animal as quickly as I can read it. Some of
the habitats are more familiar to us than others, and the unfamiliar
places particularly have inspired to do some research. But we don't
have to look far! In the back of Habitat Spy are four
pages of activities and information and resources for our disposal.
This section for "Creative Minds" encourages further discussion
about each of the 13 North American habitats presented in the book.
With lots of discussion questions and ideas for hands-on activities,
this is a great way to incorporate Habitat Spy into the
school room. On the publisher's website we were able to find links
to more information and activities to spur us on in discussion
The book is full of two-page spreads that are colorful, detailed,
and incredibly accurate. They are inviting and fun, full of depth
and richness. We have even been able to discuss things like perspective,
as some things are smaller and some larger, from the perspective
of the person behind the binoculars. Habitat Spy involves
looking for similarities as well as differences. It encourages
creativity and curiosity. It appeals to all ages and group sizes.
The youngest of listeners will enjoy the lilting phrases and bright
illustrations, while older listeners are invited to delve deeper
by searching for the varying plants, birds, invertebrates, and
mammals in each habitat. Everyone will enjoy hunting for certain
plants or creatures, counting how many are pictured, and then taking
these experiences and applying them in their own lives as they
study more about the habitats in which they live.
Available in both paperback and hardcover, this book is worth
the investment. It would generously aid a study of animals and
environments--and it has reminded me that it's about time for me
to invest in a pair of binoculars so that my son can go searching
for plants, insects, and animals in environments near our own home.