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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

And the Winner Is...Written by Etta Kaner and illustrated by David Anderson. Kids Can Press, 2013. $17.95 ages 5 and up

"What a surprise! Who would have thought that this tiny insect, the size of...well, the size of a flea, could jump 150 times its own height? This must be a dog flea. They jump higher than cat fleas. I bet dog fleas are smarter, too. Who would want to live on a cat? Let's see how high humans can jump."

Kids are going  to love this book! How can they not? It's about animals, after all. Not just any animals, by the way...only those who are selected to go to the World Animal Games! They have to be very special for that to happen. Special they are!

Walrus and Cockatoo are our hosts and they are quick to entertain with witty wordplay, and expert humor; all for the purpose of entertaining the audience while also providing us with some stellar facts about animals of the world.

In well-designed contests, four animals vie for superiority within their sport. Four pages of text and illustration allow readers to see who they are, what their sport is. Around the margins trading cards tell us their names, classifications, homes, habitats and food. A large world map helps place them and their various habitats are described. The events are numerous and include weightlifting, swimming and the long jump.

Young readers will have fun guessing who might be dominant in the sport being contested. Some will be easy for them, while others offer up quite the surprise. The winner is announced on the second spread with further information given and comparisons made to their human counterparts for each of the sports shown. 

David Anderson must have had some fun creating the watercolor illustrations that accompany the text. His readers will enjoy the trading cards and also find humor in many of the animal caricatures.
They just add to the experience that children will have in making some amazing discoveries about the sport prowess of familiar and not so familiar animals of the world. They might even want to pit themselves against some of the records presented.

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