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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Amazing Animal Homes, written by Chris Packham and illustrated by Jason Cockcroft. Red Shed, Egmont. Publishers Group Canada, 2018. $19.95 ages 7 and up

"AFRICAN TERMITES also live together in colonies. They build chimney-like mounds on top of their underground nests, which can be taller than a giraffe! The hard-working insects mix soil and their saliva together to make the mounds, which have lots of holes in them to let hot air escape from the nest below. Some of these termite homes, or
'termitariums', are used ... "

I really like this series of books. I earlier posted Amazing Animal Journeys, and look forward to telling you all about Amazing Animal Babies soon.

Chris Packham has great credentials for penning these informative and accessible books for young readers. He was the presenter for a BBC series called The Really Wild Show before striking out on his own to make shows for the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, and ITV. He has also presented two shows for the BBC called Springwatch and Autumnwatch. Not surprising that his love for the natural world has led to terrific books for a young audience.

There is great variety in the homes that sustain and protect animals; they need a place to stay, just as we do. A four page introduction provides a look at those various places and why they are perfect for the animals who choose to live there. Following that, each double page spread focuses on one particular creature and the home it creates.

"The master house-builders of the bird world live in
South America. RED OVEN BIRDS feast on snails
and insects, but sometimes they become food
for snakes, birds of prey and even domestic cats.
To keep their chicks safe, the parents build
dome-shaped nests that look like little ovens.
It can take the adult birds months to make the nests
using mud or clay mixed with hair or straw. A narrow
entrance leads to a divided space, with the cosy egg
chamber lined with soft grass and feathers."

Jason Cockcoft adds fascination beyond what the text shares with his warm and wonderful illustrations of children making discoveries in the many settings described. Readers will be intrigued by the clear details and the numerous labels that assure understanding and new learning.

Finally, a DISCOVER MORE section adds further information for each of the presented animals. To learn more about the author, visit his website

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