School is just around the corner, so we’ve put together some recent books and DVDs about our amphibian friends that you, your students, or your kids might enjoy. The descriptions are from Amazon or from the publishers’ websites.
Books for Kids
Face to Face with Frogs by Mark Moffet. (National Geographic, 2008). 32 pgs. 4-8.
You’re two inches away from a poison dart frog. You’re lying on the rainforest floor as she hops toward you, utterly fearless. This deadly terribilis frog has nothing to fear; your fear is that any accidental contact with your skin could mean death! Let Mark W. Moffett, winner of the 2006 Lowell Thomas Medal for Exploration, show you around the diverse world of frogs.
Frogs by Nic Bishop (Scholastic Nonfiction, 2008). Ages 7-11, 48 pages.
For the first- to third-grade set, frogs are an endless source of fascination, especially when looked at VERY close up. See tiny poison dart frogs and mammoth bullfrogs, as Nic Bishop’s amazing images show the beauty and diversity of frogs from around the globe.
The Frog Scientist (Scientist in the Field Series), by Pamela S. Turner and Andy Comins (Houghton Mifflin, July 2009) 64 pages, ages 9-12
This Scientists in the Field title is about frog scientist Dr. Tyrone Hayes, who has explored the effects that pesticides, particularly atrazine, have on frogs and, in turn, on us.
Books for High School Students and Above
Extinction in Our Times: Global Amphibian Decline, by James P. Collins and Martha L. Crump, introduction by Thomas E. Lovejoy III (Oxford University Press, June 2009).
The first book to fully examine the dramatic, ongoing extinction of amphibian species across a whole vertebrate class, revealing what it may portend for the health of the planet. Joining scientific rigor and vivid storytelling, this book uses amphibian decline as a lens through which to see more clearly the larger story of climate change, conservation of biodiversity, and a host of profoundly important ecological, evolutionary, ethical, philosophical, and sociological issues.
We have ordered this brand new book, published this summer, and are looking forward to reading it.
Nature Frogs: The Thin Green Line, PBS DVD
Frogs have been hopping the planet for more than 350 million years; evolving into some of the most wondrous, diverse and beloved animals on earth. Suddenly, they’re slipping away. Some say it’s the greatest extinction since the dinosaurs. Ecosystems are beginning to unravel and medical cures are vanishing. It’s a global crisis, mobilizing scientists around the world to stem the tide, before the next frog crosses the thin green line.
We watched this show online on the PBS website—it’s well worth watching. This DVD would be great for a high school biology, environmental science, or social studies class.
Occasionally blog readers send us their products to review. We received a DVD called Danni’s Tales written and directed by Allen Plone and produced by Damon Cohen. This innovative series combines live action with animation. The show is set in a classroom where Danni Donkey introduces her students to special friends while they travel around the world, enjoying music, dance, and learning about the world’s animals and the environment.
We watched a few of the shows, and we think they will delight children. Each show features a different animal—frogs, bears, whales, and others. They are fun, quirky, and educational—the songs are catchy and clever. Take a look at their website, where you can play clips of the episodes.