Early Book Review: The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery (Exceptional Science Titles for Intermediate Grades) by Sandra Markle is a fantastic non-fiction addition to any elementary school library. It is due to be published on October 23 2011. Brilliant colors and photographs work with the text to tell the story of the Panamanian golden frogs, which began dying out around fifteen years ago. A team of scientist works hard to discover the problem and do everything they can to help the little yellow frogs survive. The book details several different hypotheses for the frogs’ distress, and through the discovery of the problem. This real scientific mystery is told with a nice balance of simplicity and knowledge. While new words, concepts, and discoveries are detailed in the book, they are displayed in a way that does not condescend or overwhelm the reader. Definitions for words are given in context, and in a glossary that is included at the end of the book. I was really blown away by the brilliance of the photographs, while it slowed down my electronic copy significantly; each image was well worth the wait. I also loved the credit and respect given to the scientists that have been working so hard at solving the mystery of disappearing frogs. The intense and detailed work they do is not often recognized by the general public, so to see some of the female scientists that are so hard at work was extremely gratifying.

I recommend taking a long look at The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery to readers interested in nature, wildlife, scientific method, and how scientists and local cultures can work together to solve problems. It would make a great addition to school and public libraries. In the last year, I remember reading a similar book, about the way bees are disappearing, and was thrilled that this book gave a much fuller picture of the problem and what is being done to help the frogs survive. There is access to more information via the publisher, they offer downloadable resources including list of web sites, maps and some ideas for student research projects in PDF format to further the study and understanding of the issue at www.lerneresource.com .
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