Wilderness Babies by Julia Augusta Schwartz is an excellent introduction to mammals!
After a very brief explanation of the defining characteristics of mammals, this perfect science read-aloud covers:
Quite an eclectic collection! Best of all, we are introduced to these mammals by reading about their babies.
All the mammals are alike in having hair on some part of their bodies, in having teeth at some time in their lives, and in feeding the young with milk. But there are many, many kinds of mammals, of different shapes and sizes and colors.
There are all sorts of babies, from the tiny mouse that could sleep in an eggshell to the big baby whale, twice as long as an ox.
Some can swim like fishes; others can fly like birds.
Some dig homes under the ground; others make their nests in hollow trees or caves.
Some live in the mountains and some on the plains.
Some live in the woods and some in the sea.
Some eat grass, and others eat flesh; some eat nuts, some eat fruit, and some eat anything they can find.
You’ll also find beautiful pencil illustrations throughout.
We will be tempted to “school” this one up by requiring a notebook page for each animal introduced. While there might be value in such an exercise, a simple narration (or very informal conversation) after each chapter might be a better way to keep the interest up.
Perfect fit for younger students — and free!
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