This is a delightful collection of information and anecdotes detailing how animals survive in the wild. The authors have done an excellent job selecting animals that will be of high interest to kids, or that will be once kids learn about them.
For example, while you might expect kids to want to know more about puffins or anacondas or the giant panda, after they read about the extraordinary behaviors of bowerbirds and leaf-cutter ants, they will be amazed and fascinated. (Bowerbirds are known for their artistry – they construct nests, or bowers, out of berries, stones, flowers, trinkets, and any other colorful objects they can find to attract females. In Animal Wise, Virginia Morell reported that if scientists snuck in and rearranged the displays, the birds would quickly restore every single item to its proper place. Scientists concluded bowerbirds are the first animal other than humans to have “an artistic sense.”)
Leaf-cutter ants have equally impressive characteristics. They live in underground colonies that can reach depths of twenty feet and hold up to 8 million ants! And they can strip a whole tree bare of leaves in a single night. And here’s a somewhat terrifying/gross fact: the queen is the size of a small mouse!
There are so many more fascinating tidbits I could share from this book. You’ll just have to get a copy for yourself!
The illustrator, Lucy Letherland, does a terrific job making each double-page spread interesting, fun, and colorful.
Evaluation: This is an outstanding resource that will help kids appreciate the amazing diversity and astonishing behaviors of animals, and will undoubtedly have them curious for more.
Published by Wide Eyed Editions, 2016