Sarah Levine’s run away success with Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons earned her several awards including an Honor Award in the Cook Prize Awards in 2014. This American award honors the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) picture book published for children aged eight to ten. Levine’s fascination and expertise in science is evident in this engaging picture book where the reader is challenged to consider what it would be like “if your finger bones grew so long that they reached your feet? Or what if you had no leg bones but kept your arm bones?” (blurb). You can download supporting activities for Bone by Bone and be inspired and creative in with your science program from suggestions in Levine’s blog post.
From bones to teeth. Levine’s latest contribution to science and anatomy is delightfully captured in the nonsensical but scientifically informed Tooth by Tooth: Comparing Fangs, Tusks and Chompers. “What animal would you be if a few of your teeth grew so long that they stuck out of your mouth even when it was closed? What would you be if your top canine teeth grew almost all the way down to your feet?” (blurb). Through an interactive, question-and-answer approach, children are challenged to consider how human teeth are like and unlike those of other animals. As they did in Bone by Bone Levine and Spookytooth successfully combine scientific facts, interactive fun, and rib-tickling pictures.
Both picture books are delightfully illustrated by T.S Spookythooth, as the young characters adopt Levine’s ‘what if’ questions through bone and tooth structure. Spookytooth’s website is worth a visit too with its array of whimsical illustrations.
Perfect for 6 to 10 year olds – for sharing at home, in the library and in the science classroom – for an engaging story that will generate inquiring questions that will help children make connections between and across the animal kingdom and springboard into an investigation of skeletons.
Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons and Tooth by Tooth: Comparing Fangs, Tusks and Chompers are available in hardback from INT Books in Australia.