Monday, March 10, 2014

Non-Fiction Monday - Face to Face with Penguins

Face to Face with Penguins by Yva Momatiuk and John Eastcott. Face to Face series. 32 p. National Geographic Society, October, 2009. 9781426305610. (Review from purchased copy.)

I discovered this older title on a search for penguin books to fill a hole in my school's collection. It seems that penguins suddenly became popular as a subject for a fifth grade Polar regions report. Of course, the gorgeous cover drew my eye and beguiled. Then I noted that it was a National Geographic publication. Sold! I clicked the wanted button and waited for it to arrive. 

While I waited, I wondered how I missed it. Later I learned that it is part of a series, so I checked out the eighteen titles and put a few in next year's book order. Sigh. After twelve-plus years of doing this, I still haven't found a foolproof system of keeping up.

Of course, penguins are rather high-interest animals that are quite photogenic. Of course, any Nat Geo publication is going to have spectacular photographs. But this slightly oversized, square book is most attractively designed from penguin-print motif endpage to endpage. I will call the two vibrant yellow of the endpages, Emperor penguin yellows. Very eye-catching!

The text is rather conversational and quite personal. The author describes her and her photographer husband's trip and their up-close and personal encounters with the penguins of South Georgia. One chapter asks the reader to imagine herself a penguin and is written in the second-person, which I personally do not care for. Still, young readers will most likely enthusiastically embrace the request. 

There's plenty of white space and photographs on nearly every page in a variety of size from 3/4 spread to full-page to snapshot size. Penguin paw-print decorated text boxes provide extra information with engaging titles like, "What's the scoop on penguin poop. Pink poop means that the penguin's diet consists mostly of krill. Green is an ominous sign. 

A chapter entitled Marine Sentinels warns of the effects of global warming on all polar life and includes suggestions that the reader can do to help reduce their family's carbon footprint. There's also a Facts at a Glance section for report writers, a glossary, suggestions for books, films and web sites to explore and an interesting note on the couple's research.

I believe this book will be a popular book for browsers and report writers alike.

Check out other Non-Fiction Monday posts at the Non-Fiction Monday blog.

1 comment:

  1. I would pick this off the shelf by the cover alone... and "what's the scoop on penguin poop" would definitely clinch the deal.