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The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog

10 Dec

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Wacky nature stories intrigue most people. The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog,  written by Marty Crump & illustrated by Steve Jenkins and Edel Rodriguez, tells the story of a frog u like any other. It has a pointy nose, the male carries the young its mouth…you get the picture. This is one cool frog.

But the book isn’t just about the frog. They show readers how the study of behavioral biology has changed over time. In the mid 1800s, scientists discovered tadpoles in a male frog. This behavior was unexplained until the 1980s when a Chilean scientist discovered that the male frog guards the eggs and then swallows the tadpoles to protect them as they grow. The text describes the frog, explains the frogs’ behaviors, and traces scientists’ studies over decades and makes readers aware that, despite over 100 years of research, scientists have more questions than answers at this point about Darwin’s frog, especially regarding what may be bringing the species near extinction. The author does a great job of taking readers right into the scientific method and explaining how scientists tested their hypotheses and what they’ve learned as a result.

Nonfiction text features include a timeline (pages 28-29), additional information, glossary, suggested books and resources, an author’s note, and index. This is not an introductory frog book, but is best suited to readers grades 3/4 and up.

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