Monday, May 13, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer

by Mary Holland. Sylvan Dell, 2013. (Review copy). This charming book is packed with gorgeous close-up photographs of a fox kit in his first summer. Holland is a nature photographer and environmental educator doing a fine job of introducing children and adults to the secret lives of foxes . You may think there are no foxes living near you, but if you are in the Northern Hemisphere you might be surprised. Foxes live in farmlands, forests, prairies, deserts and cities. Last summer my son and I saw a fox running home with a groundhog in her mouth while we were standing at the local suburban ice cream place having a cone. She ran across a field, crossed a parking lot and major roadway, and disappeared behind the next housing development, bringing dinner to her kits I am sure. Foxes are nocturnal and adapt very well to human habitats. They will eat a wide variety of things including groundhogs, garbage, earthworms, mice, voles, berries and fruit or garden produce, frogs, snakes and turtles.

Holland's nonfiction picture book follows the first summer of young Ferdinand, the runt of his litter, as he emerges from the den, nurses from his mother, wrestles with his litter-mates, learns to hunt and grows into an independent young adult. The back of the book includes sections "For Creative Minds", with fun facts, life cycle events to put in order, and photographic examples of all the things foxes eat.

My sons and I also read the ebook on our iPad Mini, downloaded from iTunes. The photos are even more stunning on the iPad, although the screen is smaller than the 8.5"x10" paperback. The paperback has the photos spread between both pages with significant sections of the images lost in the center fold space. On the screen you can zoom and pan to take in small details with no loss of image (although you can see where the fold is). The story can be read to you with automatic page turning, or you can chose to read it yourself with your child. At the end of the ebook are several educational modules including some fun quizzes.

During Children's Book Week (May 13-19, 2013) you can go to the website Sylvan Dell and read the book for free under the Staff Picks section. And, this week only, all the featured ebooks are just 99 cents! Check out the Events and Author Visit page to see if there is something happening near you.

I am giving away a copy of this wonderful book from the publisher Sylvan Dell. Just leave a comment with your contact info to get put in the drawing!! (US and Canadian addresses only).

Today's Nonfiction Round up is hosted by Julie at Instantly Interruptible. Enjoy!