Catherine Ham, author
An avid birdwatcher and hiker, Catherine Ham enjoys writing about animals she has seen in the wild. She is the author of several best-selling knitting books, including Weekend Crafter Knitting: 20 Simple Stylish Wearables for Beginners. Catherine lives in Austin, Texas.
Read more about Catherine Ham.
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NC Teacher Stuff
A sloth's not much good on the ground
He spends his whole life in a tree
He keeps hanging around
Likes to sleep upside-down
Should we give that a try, you and me?
When you read nonfiction to young children, it is vital that you have great visuals to pull in their eyes. If you are reading to a pre-K - 1st grade crowd, the cuter the pictures the better. You would be hard pressed to find more adorable pictures than you will see in Animal Naps. A lizard holds on to a leaf like a toddler holding a blanket. You think the ducklings on the cover are charming? Try viewing a photograph of a snoozing hedgehog. I can almost hear the oohs and aahs from kindergarteners right now. But wait, there's more! Catherine Ham writes playful rhymes chock full of science information. Check out the sloth poem above. This poem would make a fun shared reading piece, but do you see the facts embedded inside? Sloths live solely in trees. They sleep upside down. Fun and full of facts, my friend. That's a great combination.
Animal Naps would be a superb resource for teaching a lesson on contrasts or categorization. You could create a table for animals that sleep on land, water, or off the ground. Then you could go through the book and decide where each animal would go on the table. I would encourage further research to find out when the animal sleeps (diurnal vs. nocturnal) and for how long. You could also go through this book and find the animals that hibernate. There are several routes you can pursue with Animal Naps. Click on the link above to find more Early Light books. You won't be disappointed.
A rhyming book on where and how different animals sleep. Lovely photographs of sleeping animals are accompanied by poetic verses. The rhymes are informative but sometimes feel forced. End rhymes and slant rhymes are employed within quatrains and lemericks of varied rythmic patterns that sometimes result in an unnatural flow. For these reasons, non-rhyming passages may have been a better support for the lesson in photos. Yet, children will adore the photographic journal of sleeping animals!
Crisp photographs of animals in slumber (Animal Naps) and combat (Animal Fights) combine with rhyming text to highlight the sleeping and fighting habits of a variety of wildlife. Throughout the text, the rhyme scheme ranges from being completely off at the worst, (“If he can hug his enemy terribly tight/ Then he can horribly, dreadfully bite/ With those razor-sharp teeth/ Set so deep in his jaws,”) to being forced at best, (“This beautiful bird’s a flamingo/ And she’s standing there sleeping, by jingo./ She’s napping just fine/ On one leg at a time/ With her head tucked up under her wing-o.”) Some of the animal rhymes include enlightening facts that are sure to delight those who enjoy collecting trivia, but many of the rhymes are bereft of any actual information, leaving the reader very little to chew on within the text. Lone photographs of additional sleeping and fighting animals and a superfluous (for a 32-page book) index of the animals included in the book make up the back matter. Although there are some beautifully executed photographs and some fun facts interspersed within the text, these are nonessential purchases for most collections.
Kutztown University Spring Book Review
Lyrical poems are superbly presented in such an endearing way that young children will enjoy and want to learn more about the featured animals. Sharp and distinctly detailed pictures of a large variety of animals will surely entice one to turn to the next page. All photos show the animals snoozing in their actual "bedrooms." The precarious sleeping positions of some of the nappers should delight the young readers as they see how the animals can actually stay safely asleep. The strange and variously different ways that some animals eat and drink may stimulate lively and curious discussions amongst the children at home and in school. With this in mind, it may not be a good read for bedtime. Ham should be very proud of this newly printed book as it is an amusing, informative, and useful tool to help widen a youngster's imagination with true facts.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-389-9 PDF
Page count: 32
10 x 8