Friday, March 18, 2011

"Around The World In 80 Legs"

The first thing that we noticed was that the title of th book is a cute play on words of Around the World in 80 Days. The cover tells us that the legs are referring to different types of animals. The back has an alphabetized table of contents of all of the animals discussed in the book along with a picture of the animal. The book describes these animals more in-depth, child-friendly way, but the table of contents is a fabulous and quick overview if a child were ever curious to take a peak.

When you first open the book, the publishing information and everything is on a map with some previews of the animals to come. The map is an interesting way to help teach children about geography, without it being boring. The book begins with animals from “the Andes to the Amazon,” then continues to the poles with “Far, Far North and Far, Far South: The Arctic and Antarctic.” The next stop is “From the Sahara to the Savanna: Africa,” before the adventures leads to Asia with “From Malaysia to the Himalayas: Asia.” It ends in “Down Under and Out Back: Where Other Than Australia?” As children read this book, their imaginations will go on a wild ride while learning valuable information about geography and animals.

The descriptions are poetic, charming, and clever. For example, our personal favorite was the description of the Warthog. In order to exemplify the busy lifestyle and sometimes shocking looks, Gibson writes: “Bless her heart, she tries her best, but never gets her beauty rest.”

The placement of the text often reflects the nature of the animal. For example, the line “Oh, the elegant elephant trunk” literally wraps and curves with the winding trunk in the illustration of the elephant. The text varies from page to page, which would help keep children engaged…it kept us engaged.

The illustrations are, well, magnificent. It appears that they are watercolor, and the delicate detail of each picture accurately depicts the texture of the animal in addition to the atmosphere the animal’s surroundings.

We would definitely teach this book in a class room. We had a lot of fun with it and couldn't put it down. you want to keep flipping through the pages and reading about the animals. Another nice aspect to this book is it does not have a story line to follow, so you could read about the animals without having to go through the whole book. Again, we would definitely suggest this as a teaching book in a classroom or even just for fun!

Hope yall get a chance to read and enjoy it like we did!

Happy Reading!

Haley K and Sarah B


  1. This book sounds great! Definitely one to have in my future elementary classroom. Do you suggest a particular grade/age range?


  2. This sounds like an excellent book for children. It is also a great way for children to learn about different animals. Thanks for a great recommendation!

  3. This sounds like a wonderful book full of imagery and imaginative voice.

    In response to Sarah's comment, Scholastic recommends it for grades PK-3.

  4. I've never heard of this book but it sounds like a great one to add to my future classroom library! It was great to read a brief excerpt of it and discover its geography component a well. I would have loved to see more of the illustrations because it looks so cute! Do you think it would almost be a more interesting example of nonfiction for kids? Or is there a fictional element to it?

    Thanks for the recommendation.