Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giant Ground Sloth

Janet Riehecky
Illustrated by Jon Hughes

The Giant Ground Sloth, (JYE-uhnt SLAWTH) were huge hairy mammals that had thick brown hair that covered its bodies. They lived in caves in North and South America 1.9 million years ago during the prehistoric times. The Giant Ground Sloth’s appearance was that of a bear – and had a bear-like snout. They were as large as elephants and weighted about 6,000 pounds, or 2,720 kilograms. Their claws were sharp and when they walked their claws curled. The Giant Ground Sloth walked slowly, perhaps because of the curled claws, and used their strong tails for balance. They stood up to eat plants, using their long tongues to pull down the leaves to eat.

The fossils of the Giant Ground Sloth can be found in museums. No one knows why they died out about 8,000 thousand years ago. At the end of this picture book, is a glossary that includes the following terms from the text: balance, claw, fossil, mammal, museum, prehistoric, and snout. Information on additional resources, a web link, and an index can be found at the end of the book.

The colorful pictures of the Giant Ground Sloth are realistic and yet fascinating. Children should be enthralled by the pictures as they are read to and eventually learn the text. The vocabulary used for the intended grade level is appropriate and engaging. The science of the prehistoric life is detailed enough to encourage further reading, yet simple enough for age appropriate comprehension.

BIBLIO: 2009, Capstone Press, Ages K-1, $21.32
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Picture Book
ISBN: 978-1-4296-0036-1
REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 7/11/09

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