Calling All Markle’s Book Explorers
This activity is a great way for children to get to know my books before I visit.
Are you ready for an adventure? Then it’s time to go on a safari, a book safari. Gear up with pencil and paper. You’ll be voyaging through some of my books and into some very wild places. There, you’ll encounter many amazing animals and curious facts.
Happy hunting and have fun!
What If You Had Animal Teeth!? (Scholastic, 2013)
1. Which animal’s front teeth move separately and work like chopsticks?
2. If you could have any of the animal’s teeth shown in the book, which would you want? Why?
The Long, Long Journey (Millbrook, 2013)
1. Why do godwit parents eat alongside their young instead of carrying food to their growing chicks?
2. How do godwits keep track of other members of their flock while they migrate, flying non-stop for eight days, between Alaska and New Zealand? (Don’t miss the Author’s Note about this story)
Bats: Biggest! Littlest! (Boyds Mills Press, 2013)
1. No matter its size, a bat’s wings are the biggest part of its body. How does it help the bat that its wings are skin stretched over finger-like parts?
2. Why do some bats, like Greater Bulldog Bats, hunt with their mouths wide open?
The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs (Millbrook Press/Lerner, 2012)
1. What happened to let biologist Karen Lips know Panamanian golden frogs were in trouble?
2. Why were frogs temporarily housed at the Hotel Campestre?
Waiting For Ice (Charlesbridge, 2012)
1. Why didn’t the cub get to keep the dead bird she claimed for a meal?
2. How does the cub finally get a break and a chance to eat her fill?
Chocolate: A Sweet History (Grosset & Dunlap, 2004)
1. Chocolate is made from cacao beans. About how many beans does it take to make one pound of chocolate?
2. Chocolate was once only for kings and the very rich. What happened in 1730 that meant chocolate could be sold cheaply enough for everyone to enjoy?
Family Pack (Charlesbridge, 2011)
1. Why was the young female wolf alone, on her own, in Yellowstone National Park?
2. This story has a happy ending when the young female becomes part of a pack again. How does that happen? (Don’t miss the Author’s Note about this true story.)
Insect World: Luna Moths: Masters of Change (Lerner, 2008)
1. A luna moth has scales. Where are they and what do they do for the moth?
2. Owls eat luna moths. When an owl swoops through the air to catch a moth, the moth suddenly pulls back its front wings to show its hind wings. Why does doing that save the moth?
Animal Heroes: Trues Rescue Stories (Millbrook Press/Lerner, 2009)
1. How did Winnie the cat save her family?
2. How did a cow become a hero?
How Many Baby Pandas? (Walker, 2009)
1. Why can’t a baby panda take care of itself when it’s born?
2. Why must adult pandas spend as many as fourteen hours a day eating?
Arachnid World: Black Widows: Deadly Biters (Lerner, 2011)
1. How does it help a black widow that its venom stops its prey from being able to move?
2. On page 23, there is a picture of a black widow spider next to an empty exoskeleton. What is an exoskeleton? Does shedding it mean the spider is dead?
Animal Predators: Great White Sharks (Lerner, 2004)
1. How long before a newborn great white shark is able to hunt and catch prey for itself?
2. Look at any picture and you’ll see the upper half of a great white shark’s tail is longer than the bottom half. How does that help the shark? (Check “Looking Back” on page 38 to find out.)
Hip-Pocket Papa (Charlesbridge, 2010)
1. Why are the male and female hip-pocket frogs taking turns guarding a bit of the forest floor?
2. How does the male hip-pocket frog keep his tadpoles safe while they develop?
3. About how many days does the male frog carry the tadpoles before they become froglets and leave?
Sharks: Biggest! Littlest! (Boyds Mills, 2008)
1. A whale shark, the biggest kind of shark, has hundreds of teeth but it doesn’t use these to catch prey. How does a whale shark get its meals?
2. How does a swell shark change its size suddenly to stay safe?
Slippery, Slimy Baby Frogs (Walker, 2006)
1. Like all living things, tadpoles (baby frogs) need oxygen to live. So why can tadpoles only live in water?
2. Most tadpoles are on their own once they hatch, but female Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs carry each of their tadpoles to a special nursery pool. Where is that pool?
3. Changing from tadpole to frog takes lots of energy. Besides getting energy from the food it eats, a tadpole uses up energy stored in part of its body. Where is that energy stored?
Outside and Inside Mummies (Walker, 2005)
1. How is a mummy different from a skeleton?
2. How did mummies reveal there were lots of sandstorms in ancient Egypt?
Animal Prey: Zebras (Lerner, 2007)
1. How is a baby zebra able to keep track of its mother in a group of other zebras?
2. Why do zebras travel across their range rather than stay in one place?
How was the little male zebra able to escape the crocodile’s attack?