Amazing Animals

Animals and interactive fun make “Amazing Animals: A Spin and Spot Book” spot-on for tykes. Parent educators with the Washington School District know what appeals to the younger set and have named the board book their February Baby Book Buzz Pick.

Each month, in partnership with The Missourian, the group selects a quality book for children birth to age 5. A review of the book appears in the third weekend issue of The Missourian. This month’s review is written by Marcia Koch, parent educator.

“Eagles, toucans and sloths, oh my! Sixty-four animals are waiting to be found in this marvelous book by Liza Charlesworth, with illustrations by Brandon Reese. ‘Amazing Animals’ will excite your toddler and engage parents as it is read over and over again.

“A different habitat is featured on each page of this sturdy book. Spin dials also can be found on each page so children can spot and match the animals. Matching is an important thinking skill for 2-year-olds.

“The book offers other ways to support your child’s development too. Pointing, naming and making animal sounds help build language skills. The book’s minimal print encourages readers to tell their own stories.

The spin dial encourages children to use the small muscles of their hands and helps with eye-hand coordination.

“An older toddler can practice colors and counting while learning about puffins in the arctic. Preschoolers can join in by sorting and classifying animals from the ocean or the savanna.

“ ‘Some have fur and some feathers.’ ‘ . . . these cool creatures love the sun and sand.’ After reading ‘Amazing Animals’ take your child to the park or zoo to play spot and find. Your child will make connections between what they see in a book and their real life experiences.

“As the author of many early-reader books, Charlesworth makes reading simple and fun. The more a child reads, the more they learn. So, ‘spin the wheel, spot the picture, and read along!’ ”