Friday, May 4, 2012

Classification of Animals

Classification of Animals (Sci-Hi: Life Science)
Casey Rand
$32.65, LB
Heinemann-Raintree, 2009
January 14th, 2012

Genre: Nonfiction
Age: 12+
Description: Part of the Sci-Hi Life Science set, Classification of Animals explains how animals are grouped and named by certain common characteristics.
Opinion: The Sci-Hi series of books is awesome and I recommend them for any nonfiction collection aimed at tweens and teens. All books in the series are put together like high-interest magazines but deal with scientific topics. Each book features colorful spreads, visually stimulating photographs and clear artwork, suggested science activities and projects, two-page glossaries, and further information for those interested. Classification of Animals presents the information in a logical way where one page builds on the information presented in the previous pages. We begin learning the basic definition of classification and the man behind the original system still used today—Carl Linnaeus. Pictures introduce additional information along with “Did You Know” sidebars. We learn the basic seven levels of classification. The rest of the book looks at those levels in more detail to help us learn how animals are “named” with a first and last name, usually from the genus and the species. We then learn about animal kingdom and are given information about those in more detail. We are also told how scientists use keys to classify animals (we even get to practice on a few dinosaurs). Other topics include information on the animal kingdom, invertebrates and vertebrates, arthropada, evolution, how DNA aided classification, phylum, classes, orders, families, genus, and species—all levels explained with an in depth look at a type of kingdom (orders of reptiles, families of birds, etc.). The book ends with a discussion on recently discovered new species and includes a review. I like the Sci-Hi series because the books are not only visually appealing and stimulating but the spines of the books themselves stick out among the shelves and grab your attention. If a student needs just a basic introduction into a scientific concept this series is great especially for harder things like chemistry and physics. The only downside I saw was a little repetition (sometimes even in the same section) but this is likely because of the method of introducing a general concept (like classification) and then moving into more detailed explanations (such as the seven levels individually) so the information gets more detailed as you continue reading the books.

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