Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: All About Alligators

All About Alligators by Jim Arnosky

This book is part of the "All About..." series by Jim Arnosky. The focus is on alligators and the habitat they live in. Readers will learn all about what alligators eat, what they look like, how they hunt, and how big they are. There is a lot of great information in this book for young readers.

The alligator pictures in this book were all done by Arnosky. He made them with watercolors which is appropriate for an animal that lives in the water! It makes the illustrations very fluid looking. The end pages in the front and back show an alligator in different positions underwater. This sets the stage for what readers are going to learn about. The title page starts out with the back portion of an alligator and when you turn the page to the dedication page, the middle section of the alligator is drawn. The head and mouth are on the third two page spread. This is a great way to help explain just how big an alligator is! The illustration took up three two-page spreads. The shape of the book is short and wide, to depict an alligator's shape.

Arnosky's illustrations are very detailed and help explain more details about alligators (such as in the picture below.) I can't help but think that real life pictures of alligators could also be helpful in this book.

Arnosky writes at the end of the book that although alligators do not usually eat humans, children and adults need to stay away from alligators and their babies because alligators can move VERY fast when they want to! I looked online how fast an alligator runs and it says they run about 11mph but they can't maintain that speed for a long time and generally don't chase humans on dry land. But regardless, be careful when you're in alligator country. You can read the article by How Stuff Works here.
For All About Alligators, Jim Arnosky traveled to the Everglades in Florida. He videotaped, sketched, and made many notes in his journal about the alligators there. (back flap of book)
I believe that information about the author gives Arnosky enough experience and research on alligators to write about them accurately. You can find many other animals in Arnosky's "All About..." series including, deer, frogs, lizards, manatee, owls, rattlesnakes, sharks, turkeys, and turtles.
Check out Jim Arnosky's website for more information on his many other books about science and nature as well as other fun facts about him. Arnosky received the Key Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Science Books from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Subaru.

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