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Friday, July 23, 2010

Animals, written by Caroline Bingham and illustrated by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar. DK, Tournaline Editions. 2010. $14.99 ages 4 and up

"Monkeys and apes belong to a large group of mammals called primates. Primates are good climbers, and some spend their whole lives in trees. They have strong arms and legs and long, grasping fingers. Many are playful and intelligent. But how do you tell an ape from a monkey?"

If you want to know the answer to that guestion, this accessible and informative book is sure to help! The table of contents provides a guide to each subsection of the animal kingdom, beginning with the vertabrates and moving on to invertebrates. Before they are done, the Little Brainwaves have provided avid readers with a plethora of facts that they can spout to anyone who might be interested. The members of the Brainwaves troop accompany us on the journey through the animal kingdom and manage to provide some comic relief on each page of facts.

Colorful, clear photographs accompany the text boxes and provide focus for young readers. There will be a lot of oohing and aahing as they turn the pages. Variety in presentation holds our interest and carries us through each double-page spread.

It ends with fascinating facts about some of the earth's most amazing creatures. One such entry is the fact that 'the smallest bird in the world, the bee hummingbird, is tiny enough to perch happily on top of a pencil. It weighs just 1/16 oz (2 g).'

A glossary giving pertinent information about much of what has been shared follows, as does an index to take the reader back to what is of most interest when the reading is done.

This is a great series, and I will forward to upcoming additions.

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