Kid Lit Review of “Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons” by Sara Levine

Bone by Bone

This very clever and fun book shows how different living creatures are similar and different by posing questions on one side of a page that are answered on its reverse. For example, she asks, “What kind of animal would you be if your finger bones grew so long that they reached your feet?”


On the next page, we discover the answer:


Or, “What if you didn’t have any arm or leg bones? What kind of animal would you be if you had just a skull, vertebrae, and ribs?” Or: “Now let’s keep all of your bones but change the size of some of them. What kind of animal would you be if you had really big vertebrae in your neck?”

Amusing and imaginative illustrations by the pseudonymous T.S. Spookytooth are colorful and funny and just right for kids. For each “what if” he shows little boys and girls with bodies distorted by the proposed changes.


My favorite is this one: Next to one puddle of a boy the author asks, “Could you be an animal if you didn’t have any bones at all?” (“Yes!” is the answer: “Many animals don’t have bones. They’re called invertebrates.”)


The questions are hugely intriguing and will delight children, stimulating their imaginations and teaching them something at the same time.

Highly recommended!

Evaluation: The author, a veterinarian and assistant professor of biology in Boston, teaches classes on plants and animals for kids. It is clear she knows what kids find entertaining. [I.e., kids and husbands, one of whom, who shall not be named herein, insisted on going through the whole book and guessing the answers for each page.] This is another book I could hardly pull away from the young readers in our lives, who in addition to reading it, felt the need to act out each possibility.

Rating: 5/5

Published by Millbrook Press, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, 2013


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5 Responses to Kid Lit Review of “Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons” by Sara Levine

  1. June says:

    The pictures are a little creepy…lol…but it’s a cool book.

  2. Megan says:

    What a funny and clever to introduce kids to animal biology!

  3. trish422 says:

    This is so freaking awesome! Madison will love it.

  4. stacybuckeye says:

    This looks so clever. Another to add to Gage’s library.
    I took Gage to the Rainforest at the zoo last week and they had the biggest and most close up collection of bats I’ve ever seen. Consider bats a new fear of mine, (shiver)

  5. Amazing find! Looking forward to checking this one out!! Many thanks.

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