HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders
Author: Anthony D. Fredericks
Illustrator: Jenifer DiRubbio
Publisher: Dawn Publications, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-58469-137-2 (hardback)
ISBN-13: 978-1-58469-138-9 (paperback)
Related website: www.dawnpub.com (publisher)
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 4-10
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Fredericks, Anthony D. Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders (published in 2011 by Dawn Publications, 12402 Bitney Springs Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959). If a tree falls down in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it just become a dead log? No, it becomes home to many different creatures! After an opening letter by “Your balled-up buddy, Roly-poly,” author Anthony D. Fredericks uses catchy rhymes to describe a great oak tree that is hit by lightning and blown down by the wind, and then after it begins to decay the termites that feed on the rotting wood, a salamander that hides under it, the roly-polies that live in it, the garter snake that slides over it, the red velvet mites that crawl on it, the daddy longlegs that creep around it, and the chipmunk that climbs it. What will the school class see when they walk past the log on a field trip?
The full color, life-like drawings by illustrator Jennifer DiRubbio help to reinforce the many valuable lessons about nature that children can glean from the book which, in addition to the information about the different creatures, include the concept of habitat, the interconnected relationships of different plants and animals, and the earth’s way of recycling. The repetitive character of the poetry will be encouraging to beginning readers. At the end, there are two pages of field notes about the tree and animals, and two more pages with suggestions for activities and projects. Similar books by Fredericks are Under One Rock, which I have read and reviewed, In One Tidepool, Around One Cactus, Near One Cattail, and On One Flower. As our friend the roly-poly reminds us in his introduction, “I have lots of weird neighbors, and remember, weird is interesting.” This entire book is interesting!