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Monday, August 22, 2016

Did You Know? Animals. By Derek Harvey. DK Canada, 2016. $26.99 ages 6 and up

"When a person bends over quickly and stands back up the sudden rush of blood to and from the brain can cause dizziness. Because giraffes grow as tall as houses, they have special blood vessels in their necks to stop this from happening ... When the giraffe's head is down special valves in its blood vessels snap shut to stop blood from rushing downward ..."

It's another one of those brilliant books that children love to pore over, seeking information about animals that are familiar and those that are not. As I will tell  you repeatedly, DK produces beautiful books that are a constant source of information and inspiration for children and their learning.

In this one more than 200 questions are asked about animals, and then answered. Questions like:

"Why don't woodpeckers get a headache?

A woodpecker can hammer its beak against a tree trunk
12,000 times a day looking for insects to eat, and not
hurt its head. That's because its brain is held snugly
inside a skull made of special bone that cushions
it from the blows."

Included on this double page spread is a clear and colorful photo of two woodpeckers doing exactly what they do to find food. As well, there are labelled captions describing more fully the skull, tail prop, claws and beak. An information box describes how a woodpecker finch and an aye-aye get their food from tree trunks. Never heard of an aye-aye? (You'll have to look it up.) A true and false section includes three statements asking readers to think back and provide an answer.

There are five sections: mammals, birds, underwater, creepy-crawlies, and reptiles and amphibians. The final ten pages provide answers to the questions asked throughout, two pages of questions and answers you might use to trick your friends, a glossary and an index.

Engaging and always accurate in those things that most intrigue a target audience, this is another terrific book from DK.

Don't forget to check out this website: or this one:

And, I'll leave you with this question:

Which bird builds the best nest? If you really want to know, you need this book.

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