Monday, April 28, 2014

Deadliest Animals: Text Features

Text features are a key component of the National Geographic Readers. They help to break up the main text and keep the pages vibrant and visually dynamic.

Level 3 readers include:
--a table of contents
--seven jokes
--five Weird But True facts
--a couple of repeating sidebars
--a 10 Cool Things spread
--eleven glossary terms
--an index
Not all Level 3 titles have subheads, but we did use them throughout Deadliest
. It helps readers to digest the information and keep track of the book’s overarching hierarchy.
Each book has a different, topic-appropriate name for the glossary terms. In Deadliest Animals, I initially used the phrase “Word Bites,” but along the way, we decided to use “Deadly Definitions.”

This book ended up having two kinds of repeating sidebars. There are five Death Toll sidebars and four Toxic Tidbits sidebars evenly spaced throughout the book.

There are also three Surprise boxes on pp. 8-9 and three Snake boxes on pp. 22-23. The idea is to have lots of different elements, but for them to fall into a few definable categories. This approach gives a sense of continuity to the overall presentation. It may seem random, but it’s all carefully orchestrated.

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