Monday, September 20, 2010

Nonfiction Monday: Don't Touch that Toad

Don't Touch That Toad and Other Strange Things Adults Tell YouDon't Touch that Toad and Other Strange Things Adults Tell You, written by Catherine Rondina, illustrated by Kevin Sylvester.  KidsCan Press, 2010

There is always a cluster of kids who check out the Guinness Book of World Records every week.  When they cannot get one they settle for the Scholastic Book of World Records. They also go for the joke books.

Rondina's book would be a nice fit for those children. The book is divided into five sections, Healthy Habits, Weird Science, Food Falllacies, Animal Tales and Parentisms.  A premise or truism is presented and explained and then affirmed or debunked on the verso.  

  • "Don't swallow bubble gum because it takes your body seven years to digest"
  • "Cracking your knuckles can cause arthritis"
  • "Humans only use 10 percent of their brains" 
  • "Wait an hour after eating before you go swimming or you'll get a cramp and drown" 
  • A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's  
The explanation of the truism: "Lemmings will follow each other right off a cliff" did completely amaze me. ALL my ideas about lemmings WERE completely formed by the Walt Disney 1958 movie, White Wilderness.  The image of those lemmings surging over a cliff is a vivid memory. 

Kevin Sylvester's drawings are comical and fun.  The book is well sized and at 96 pages, just about the right length for "just the facts" kids.


Susan T. said...

Definitely one for Jr.! Thank you.

NatalieSap said...

Oh, this one had so much potential! But the fact that it doesn't have a bibliography just ruined it for me - not that the kids notice much, but I'd certainly feel better about it!

Camille said...

@Natalie That is actually a good point. They say "Clemson researchers" or "(name of scientist) found..." but there is no title or date of the the research.

Would have been good modeling.