The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats:
A Scientific Mystery
Scientists first discovered that the little brown bats were dying in large numbers in caves in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts in March of 2007. After gathering specimens, scientists ruled out climate change, pesticides, viruses, and bacteria. However, they discovered a fungus that was attacking the bats as they hibernated causing them to hibernate less and possibly starve or freeze to death. Scientists have been studying this fungus for years in hopes of keeping the little brown bat population in existence until the species can adapt to fighting off the fungus on it own as its European cousins have already done.
The reader is guided through The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle with stalactites and stalagmites hanging from the pages, pointing to the information presented on the pages. The headers are highlighted to the reader with a small drawing of a bat to accompany all the wonderful photographed in this book to illustrate the journey of the scientists trying to prevent the little brown bat from vanishing from North America.
Markle, S. (2015). The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press.
Snowy Owl Invasion!:
Tracking an Unusual Migration
The nonfiction book Snowy Owl Invasion!: Tracking an Unusual Migration by Sandra Markle lovingly refers to the Snowy Owl as snowy or snowies. The snowies migrated too far south for the 2013-2014 winter due to overpopulation and strong winds. They arrived in areas with plenty of food, however, they were interfering with airport traffic. Many snowies were caught and released elsewhere, but many kept returning to the areas where they one were. This migration brought attention to the snowy owl and money was raised to attach several snowies with transmitters. Scientists learned through the information gathered that they needed to relocate the snowies farther from the airport and trap them at night. Scientists are continuing to learn about their migration patterns through the transmitters as the birds fly past cell phone towers on occasion to better support their survival.
This nonfiction book has many photographs to catch the eye of its reader. While most of page backgrounds are white to reflect the color of a snowy owl, there are pops of color to guide the reader through all the information in this book. The captions to the pictures and the page numbers are yellow. The pages with additional facts about the Snowy owl, not related to the plot, have a blue tundra background with blowing white snow at the bottom to support the illustrations and the interesting, yet impertinent, information to the plot.
Markle, S. (2018). Snowy Owl Invasion!: Tracking an Unusual Migration. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press.
The Great Penguin Rescue:
Saving the African Penguins
This book begins with a little penguin chick waiting for the return of its parents to feed it. In the early , 1800’s the African penguin population was around 4 million. In 2016, the population is around 48,000 due decades of habitat mismanagement by humans, the over-fishing with the use of technology, and the consumption of penguin eggs, which has now been outlawed, and the gradual temperature rise of the ocean has pushed their feeding grounds away from shore. An oil spill off the coast of Cape Town in 2000 nearly claimed the lives of 90% of the African penguin population, but with human intervention and clean up efforts restored the population but it still was not flourishing. After the establishment of a foundation and two units for caring for abandoned chicks and eggs, scientist are beginning to understand how to help the African penguin population flourish by protecting their breeding grounds, feeding waters, and giving as many little chicks a chance at life.
The reader is guided through The Great Penguin Rescue: Saving the African Penguins by Sandra Markle with photographs of penguins and a blue line connecting the information from page to page. The background of many pages has blue wavy lines to represent the ocean waters where penguins find food to feed themselves and their young. The blue wavy lines are calming to the reader despite a tumultuous journey for scientists to increase the African penguin population over the past years.
Markle, S. (2018). The Great Penguin Rescue: Saving the African Penguins. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press.