BOOKS

Cover of It's Our Nature
It’s Our Nature
By Rebeca Orozco,Illustrated by Menena Cottin,Tundra Books, 2012.24 pages$14.99
*****
Reviewed by Christina Stone

It’s Our Nature is a book that encourages readers to investigate the commonalities between humans and animals, and to think about what humankind can learn from the animal kingdom. At the beginning of the book, the author invites us to reflect on the notion that, like humans, animals also experience feelings like love, pain, happiness, and sadness,. In the pages that follow, readers learn how a variety of species live in harmony with one another. We learn about the character traits and experiences of animals ranging from howler monkeys and flamingos to elephants, crocodiles, and more. In the end, we are encouraged to reflect on how we can learn to value diversity and practise acceptance from our animal friends. The author leaves us with the idea that we are all a part of the animal kingdom and that we, too, can live harmoniously with one another.

I would recommend using this book to support teaching and learning in relation to Character Education. Students can make connections between how humans demonstrate a variety of traits and how animals demonstrate them. This book also links to Investigation and Inquiry around the fundamental concept of sustainability and stewardship within the science curriculum strand of Understanding Life Systems and could specifically link to Grade 1 (Needs and Characteristics of Living Things), Grade 2 (Growth and Changes in Animals), Grade 4 (Habitats and Communities), Grade 6 (Biodiversity). This is a great mentor text to use with a wide variety of age groups to challenge students to think deeply about the interdependence of, and connections between, humans and the animal world.

Christina Stone is a member of Elementary Teachers of Toronto.

MORE BOOKS

Cover of Brilliant! Shining a Light on Sustainable Energy
Michelle Mulder. Orca Book Publishers, 2013. 48 pages, $19.95
*****
Reviewed by Sabrina Sawyer
Cover of Fight to Learn
Laura Scandiffio. Toronto Annick Press, 2016. 176 pages, $16.95
*****
Reviewed by Francesca Alfano
Cover of Stop the Stress in Schools
Joey Mandel. Pembroke Publishers, 2014. 160 pages, $24.95
*****
Reviewed by Amy Smith
Cover of The ABC's of Viola Desmond
Grade 4 students at William King Elementary School and teachers Pam Caines and Beatrice MacDonald. Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute, 2016. 54 pages, $23.95
*****
Reviewed by Lauri Taparluie
cover of I Am Not a Number
Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland Second Story Press, 2016 32 pages, $18.95
*****
Reviewed by Monique Pregent
cover of What Makes us Unique?
Dr. Jillian Roberts, illustrated by Cindy Revell Orca Book Publishers, 2016 32 pages, $19.95
*****
Reviewed by Elena Vandergeest
cover of The Big Book of Nature and Activities
Jacob Rodenburg and Drew Monkman New Society Publishers, 2016 384 pages, $38.95
*****
Reviewed by Stephanie Benn
cover of learning and teaching early math
Douglas H. Clements and Julie Sarama Routledge, 2014 380 pages, $ 68.31
****
Reviewed by Edward Schroeter

Pages