Another nonfiction picture book review by Jean Matthew Hall
Lizzie Rockwell did a rocking job with the picture book A Mammal Is an Animal in my opinion. Holiday House published this entertaining and informative picture book in 2018.
The ISBN is 978-0-8234-3670-5.
Rockwell balances colorful illustration surrounded (most of the time) by lots of white space. This really drew my eyes to those illustrations. Concerning the animals in the illustrations they are accurate by simply drawn and painted.
But the text of A Mammal Is an Animal is what makes this book stand out. I love the pattern Rockwell uses for presenting the information about many mammals in an attention-grabbing and entertaining way.
I’ll try to explain her method.
A page introduces simple facts about an animal or a specific mammal as a question. Then comes a big NO! in answer to that question.
The next page explains that answer and gives another animal to illustrate the point. That page ends with a question that ends with a NO!
The next page explains that fact as related to mammals.
The next page gives examples of that fact AND introduces another fact about mammals.
The next page shows an animal that has that one trait, but isn’t a mammal. Then comes the question and the big NO!
It’s such an unusual presentation that it begs the reader to follow along and get to the final pages about the most familiar mammal to all children. Themselves!
Rockwell’s method of presentation is like following bread crumbs. And I think kids will love it as much as I do.
A Mammal Is an Animal includes six pages of back matter with interesting trivia about specific mammals, a summary of facts about mammals in general, reference books, and a bold illustration of the taxonomy of Life On Earth (emphasizing the animal kingdom.)
I think anyone teaching life sciences to lower school students will love A Mammal Is an Animal.