It’s early morning in the Amazon rain forest. A large monkey is climbing through the branches of a tall tree. Suddenly, there’s a flash of white and black feathers. An enormous harpy eagle swoops between the leafy branches and snatches the monkey from the tree. Then the giant predator carries its prey high into the treetops and begins to eat.
Filled with information perfectly suited to the abilities and interests of its primary grade audience, this colorful, fact-filled book gives readers a chance not only to learn all about harpy eagles and their Amazon rain forest home, but also to develop their powers of observation and critical thinking. Built-in activities, such as figuring out how the bird’s body is adapted for hunting, and investigating how much weight the eagle can carry in its talons, give readers a chance to gain insights beyond the facts and figures.
|Interest Level||Grade 2 - Grade 5|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
|Series||Apex Predators of the Amazon Rain Forest|
|Number of Pages||24|
|Dimensions||10 x 8|
|ATOS Reading Level||4.3|
|Guided Reading Level||M|
|Lexile Reading Level||570|
|AR Quiz Number||188146|
Jean Little Library Blog Review of Harpy Eagle
This new series features “Apex Predators,” from giant otters to jaguars. I received the Harpy Eagle for review.
Harpy eagles are really cool. I didn’t really learn anything new in this book, but I enjoyed revisiting these cool creatures. This rain forest eagle is one of the largest birds of prey, nesting in tall rainforest trees and preying on monkeys, sloths, coatis, and other medium-sized creatures.
My favorite part of the harpy eagle is the way they can pop up a circle of feathers around their face. This has a practical use – directing sound to their small ears – but it also looks simply adorable. It’s this big fluffy circle (with, you know, a razor-sharp beak in the center).
In addition to the facts about the harpy eagle, its habitat, prey, and life cycle, there are also inset facts about the eagle and the rainforest, questions to get readers thinking about the text, a science experiment, glossary, and index.
Verdict: If you’re looking to diversify and add to your animal books, this series is a good choice to fill out some more unusual predators.
NSTA Recommends Harpy Eagle
Apex Predators of the Amazon Rain Forest: Harpy Eagle stands out among books about predators because of its engaging formatting and its questioning strategies that propel the reader forward through the texts. In addition, it has clear, crisp photographs that are closely paired to the text to give young readers a good introduction to this predator. The vocabulary is limited enough for the target audience, but has some adaptation specific vocabulary to enrich the reader’s knowledge. The text features are well formatted for young readers. I would use this text to allow students to gather information about animal adaptation and sensory processing. I think that it provides good information to support students’ understanding of core ideas in animal behavior. It would also support using text features for research and synthesis of information. Because this text is part of a series of similar texts, it would be a great classroom addition for shared research.
School Library Journal Review for Apex Predators of the Amazon Rain Forest
Each featured beast fills an apex predator role in the rain forest ecosystem. Content focuses on predation in the first half, including the subject’s diet and hunting methods, with photos that show some of the action of the hunt. Life cycles and habitats are also introduced. Writing is clear and direct, avoiding generalization. Readers learn, for example, that a bull shark is an apex predator in the Amazon, but not in the ocean. . . . Captioned photographs highlight key physical features, while occasional close-ups and insets also support factual details effectively. Other features include a range map, a “science lab” activity, and question boxes that actually promote critical thinking, rather than repetition of facts from within the text. VERDICT: Well-rounded species profiles suitable for reports.
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