Flying Eye Books

Crazy About Cats

DSC_0183.JPG

There are so many wonderful books around that sometimes we miss reviewing something that we really love or have enjoyed using with children. Meeting Owen Davey at Hay earlier this year reminded me just how much I love his books and his style of illustration. ‘Crazy About Cats’- could have been written to describe me- is my favourite of his books to date and is a wonderful text to use to support the Year 6 Science Curriculum ( living things, evolution etc)- or purely for pleasure!

DSC_0106.JPG

Although I am a fan of photographs in non-fiction books, there is something very appealing about Owen’s stunning illustrations and their beauty which negates this concern completely. The book begins with exploring the genus of cats, number of species and general diet and habitat of these amazing creatures before considering their evolution and the domesticity of the house cat. This could form the perfect starting point for work on classification, using examples before working scientifically and classifying creatures they might find closer to home. (Bonkers About Beetles might come in handy here!)

IMG_9728.JPG

The diversity of cats in this book is wonderful, making the perfect starting point for further investigation, allowing children to compare and contrast how different cats species have adapted to their environments. The marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) caught my imagination - I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of it; I now know where it comes from and that it is the only species classified as ‘pardofelis’, having previously been thought to belong to the panthera lineage. Another species which leapt off the page at me was the ‘margay’ which is a featured creature in the book. Sadly. both of these wonderful creatures are considered to be ‘near threatened’.

IMG_9727.JPG

‘Crazy About Cats’ is packed full of fascinating, clear information, but I also love the fact that there is a section about cat mythology, touching on some of the stories told about cats through the ages. There are many writing opportunities which might come from this book as well- reports, persuasive, discussion as well as narrative.

The contents and index make it easy to navigate, but this is really one of those books that is best lingered over as something catches the eye. The book ends with information about the endangered status of many of our big cats and suggestions for how we can help.

Beautiful in content as well as quality, ‘Crazy About Cats’ is a fabulous book about felines which will captive and educate in equal measure.

Crazy About Cats Owen Davey

Flying Eye Books ISBN: 978-1911171164

Planning ideas for this book will be added to the Members’ Section of the website very soon.

LONG LIST REVIEW: Professor Astro Cat's Human Body Odyssey

DSC_3687.jpg

Professor Astro Cat is off on another amazing journey- this time to explore the wonders of the human body. The book starts by explaining what biology is and identifying the seven characteristics of living things.

Professor Astro Cat and his team then seek to answer all manner of questions about the human body and how it works from your cells to your ears to your heart to genetics. The book also looks at some quite complex bodily functions- the lymphatic system, the endocrine system, the immune system and genetics. Each area is carefully explained with clear illustrations to support the text. The book also looks at reproduction and keeping healthy before finishing with impairments and future science. From start to finish, it's a fascinating read with fabulous illustrations.

Covering many of the areas of study for KS2 science, 'Professor Astro Cat's Human Body Odyssey' would be a welcome addition to any classroom as a reference tool and for examples of explanation writing. 

A 'factoroids' section offers some gems- I had no idea ear wax is unique- and a glossary/ index clearly explains terms used throughout the book. Excellent stuff!

Professor Astro Cat's Human Body Odyssey     Dr Dominic Walliman, illustrated by Ben Newman

Flying Eye Books      ISBN:978-1911171140

You can read our review of 'Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure' here.

Leaf

DSC_0066.JPG

When a strange white creature appears, the other animals and birds are afraid of it and flee if it comes near them. When it starts to collect leaves from the forest, they are puzzled and threatened by this odd behaviour, calling the creature 'Leaf'.

When at last they listen to him and take the time to understand his actions, the other animals decide to help. 

DSC_0067.JPG

Beautifully illustrated, this is such a lovely story, sharing such an important message. Leaf will be recognised by the reader as a polar bear who finds himself in a strange environment with strangers who are fairly hostile. They make no effort to understand him or to empathise with him, allowing difference and fear to colour their perception.

DSC_0068.JPG

The relevance of this book to today's society is obvious and presented in such a way as to make it perfect for discussions or for simply introducing ideas of tolerance and compassion. The illustrations are captivating, colourful and full of wonderful patterning- worth lingering over and enjoying again and again.

Leaf    Sandra Dieckmann

Flying Eye Books      ISBN: 978-1911171737