Montessori Wild Cats Unit: book reviews and recommendations



Hi, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that we are currently working on wild cats unit with my son.

He loves animals, and especially wild cats, so I gathered a few books and prepared some activities to support his interests and, hopefully, answer all the questions he has. 

I am going to start by showing you the books that we are working with, and next week I will publish an article featuring all activities. Please remember that these are only my reviews and recommendations. It is not necessary to have them all, not even one. However, I believe that I can give you some valuable tips on choosing the books you buy/ borrow from a library. 



'BIG CATS' USBORNE DISCOVERY


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This book contains an immense amount of information, all presented in a child-friendly way. As per usual in the Usborne Discovery series, the book is divided into several topics, which can be treated as lessons, so that your child can learn about the big cats step by step. 

It begins with an explanation which wild cats are considered big cats, and some cat characteristics. But it also includes such important subjects as cat's senses, growing up, mating, their habitats, hunting, coats and camouflage and more. There are even separate 'lessons' about tigers, lions, leopards, Asian leopards, cheetahs, and American big cats, and some wild cats that aren't considered 'big cats'.

This delightful, filled with beautiful photographs and illustrations book is definitely one I would recommend the most. Please remember that since the big cats are carnivores, there will be some pretty scary teeth closeups, as well as photographs of cats eating their prey here. I would say that this book is perfect for 5-12 years olds. It is not available on the Usborne website anymore, but it is easily accessible for purchase online, new or second-hand for as little as £3.

 

'10 REASONS TO LOVE A LION' CATHERINE BARR AND HANAKO CLULOW

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We borrowed this beautiful book from our local library, and all I can say is that it was a great choice, because Kian absolutely loves it. In this book, the author weaves facts about lions in a very subtle way into the compendious text, organizing them into 10 reasons to love the kings of beasts. 

I like the toned and delicate illustrations, and I find the addition of a few species of animals and trees native to Africa and the Gir Forrest in India very thoughtful. 

My lion-obsessed son finds this book charming and fascinating, and we read it over and over again. We will most likely have to renew it next week :) 


'ANIMALS ARE AMAZING: LIONS' VALERIE BODDEN

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Written in a large, easy to read, font, this book includes some beautiful photographs of lions and interesting facts about their life. It is pretty informative, but definitely not as much as the 'Big Cats' by Usborne, for example. 

We borrowed it from the library, but I have to say that Kian isn't reaching for it as much as for '10 reasons to love a lion', 'Big Cats' or 'Tigress'. He likes the large, spectacular photographs of lions in it, though. 

It is a good book, but I have to mention that there is a large-scale photo of a lion biting into zebra's neck in it, as well as information that lions sometimes eat people. It may be difficult to look at for very young kids. 


'TIGRESS' NICK DOWSON AND JANE CHAPMAN

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The next book is the absolutely breathtaking 'Tigress', which follows mama tiger and her two cubs from the moment of their birth up until they say their goodbyes and begin their lives in solitary. This is one of the most beautifully told, moving children's stories I have read. And it is backed up with facts. Visually 'Tigress' is just stunning. Jane Chapman is a fantastic illustrator, and this book is just a pure delight to look at. 


'ANIMAL KINGDOM' STEVE PARKER & MARTIN WALTERS 

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If this isn't your first time on my blog, you probably know that both Kian and I love this book. There is a mine of information in the 'Animal Kingdom' about around 2000 species of animals, paired with absolutely beautiful illustrations. So no matter what unit we are working on, this book comes in handy. Always. 

I found it in a charity shop, and it is one of my favourite finds of all time. I can not recommend it highly enough. 


'CHILDREN'S PICTURE ATLAS' USBORNE

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We always work with this atlas when we are learning about animals. Kian loves to match the animal figurines to the maps of the continents. He finds it entertaining, but meanwhile, he learnes the names of continents and countries, rivers and oceans, and discovers what food grows near that animal's habitat. This is an essence of learning through play :) 


'PICTURE DICTIONARY OF NATURE' PURNELL

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I know that we shouldn't judge the book by its cover, but when I saw the cover of this vintage picture dictionary, I knew I had to get it. I just adore the way this book is illustrated. Kian eagerly picks it from his bookshelf and goes through it quite often, and together we mainly use it to learn letters and phonics, but also to find animals of the unit we are working on. 


'NATURE HIDE & SEEK: JUNGLES'  JOHN NORRIS WOOD & KEVIN DEAN

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This is yet another beautiful vintage book we own. It encourages concentration because children need to find animals camouflaged in the gorgeous scenery. And it is not easy at all, even for adults. Three beautiful wild cats are hiding in this book (leopard, Bengal tiger and ocelot), along with some other species like bushbaby, gorilla, tussock moth and more. 


'KINGFISHER CONCISE FIELD GUIDE TO ANIMALS & PLANTS OF BRITAIN AND EUROPE' MICHAEL CHINERY 

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The obvious question a child asks when learning about an animal or a group of animals is whether it leaves where we live. Well, we live in Europe, and there are two species of wild cats native to Europe: lynx and wild cat. And these are the two animals we read about in this book right now. 


'TELL ME WHY' CHANCELLOR PRESS

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'Tell me why?' is a book that answers to hundreds of questions, and it actually answers to two wild cats-related questions: why is the lion called 'king of the beasts', and why do tigers have distinct colouring. 

We have an old (2001) edition, but there are definitely plenty of similar, more modern versions available. 



Thank you for your time, and I hope to see you again next Friday, 6th November at 6 PM. I will talk all about the wild cats' activities I prepared for my son.

Have a great day!


Gosia x


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2 comments

  1. It looks like you have some really good resources there to use, I look forward to seeing what activities you'll come up with. Mich x

    ReplyDelete
  2. These look like some fantastic books for helping to teach children about big cats. I will definitely be checking back to see the activities.

    ReplyDelete

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