The Big Book of Animals of the World, by Ole Könnecke (Gecko Press, 2015)

Big Book of Animals coverWhat the book’s about

Ole Könnecke’s The Big Book of Animals of the World gives very young readers the opportunity to see the mammals, birds, and fish that inhabit the world, arranged by continent and ecosystem. A large format board book, this geographic and zoological introduction offers page spreads dedicated to one or another specific and detailed terrain, with the remaining area of the page featuring individual animal portraits, each accompanied by its English language name.

Jumpstart Activity for kids ages 2-4

Although the volume is large, the detailed pictures and the size of the type font make this book most suitable for individual and small group appreciation. Ask the child(ren) to point to where the animals depicted outside the environmental image at the bottom of the page might be hiding in that landscape picture.

Jumpstart for kids 5-8

Use the book as a beginning reference source where kids are selecting an animal or a place about which to make an elementary report. Be sure to introduce them to the picture index at the back, where the page spread depicts the continents.

Jumpstart for English Language Learner inclusion, ages 7-10

In groups where children come from more than two or three different parts of the world, pass around the book and ask everyone to select an animal about which he or she can share a story. Some kids will select common and familiar ones, such as the North American chipmunk, while others may be able to share either a fact or a folktale about a vulture or a fire salamander. Remind kids to check every page as many animals they may recognize originated outside North America!