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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Howl Like A Wolf: Learn to Think, Move, and Act Like 15 Amazing Animals. Written by Kathleen Yale and illustrated by Kaley McKean. Storey Publishing. Thomas Allen & Son, 2018. $26.95 ages 5 and up

"I couldn't say for sure, but I think
we elephants probably have the
coolest noses of any animal. My
flexible, boneless trunk is made
of pure muscle and is about five
feet long. I use it to smell things,
of course, but I can also use it to
help me drink water or as a long
hand when I'm looking for food.
I use my trunk to keep cool on
hot days by spraying water, then
dust, over my body ... "

The fifteen animals in this interactive and informative book tell their own stories. The conversational tone will entice kids reading it to take stock of the way each one lives, communicates, and moves. Each new chapter offers a first creature narrative from the animal itself, information boxes, short paragraphs describing typical behaviors and an invitation to copy the actions of the featured animal.

They howl, slide, remember, echolocate, squeeze, rattle, build, engineer, sneak, sing, dance, joke, spray, transform, and graze. They live in many parts of the world, and each has one attribute that sets them apart from the others. The table of contents offers just the right bait to help kids choose where they want to start; slide like a penguin, sneak like a leopard, dance like a honeybee, or transform like a frog. They are sure to recognize most and will likely find a favorite here. The bowerbird might be the only creature some readers will find unfamiliar.

"I don't mean to brag, but I am a pretty amazing artist.
I build tall structures called bowers on the forest floor
using sticks, woven grasses, and moss. Only male
bowerbirds build nests.

I have a unique sense of style."

The artwork, done in bold matte colors, provide a peek at environment and show scenes of children exhibiting various movements and sounds in their imaginative play. Kids who love to be active will find out about these creatures by getting into their space and taking on their own particular traits.

There is a lot to do here, and much to learn. The more our kids learn about the creatures that share our world, the more concerned they will become for their welfare. If you have an animal lover in your family, this is a perfect book to get into their hands.

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