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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Walrus, written by Herve Paniaq and illustrated by Ben Shanoon. Inhabit Media, 2017. $15.95 ages 8 and up

"A walrus's ivory tusks, which are actually large teeth, have many uses. Walruses can use their tusks as anchors on the ice to keep themselves in one spot. When they are in the water, they can use their tusks to break the ice from below so that they can breathe. Tusks are also useful protection against animals that might like to hunt walruses, such as polar bears."

And finally, for today, this is another excellent book in the Animals Illustrated series. Each of these fine books would make a wonderful addition to library shelves, and should be there for those kids who love to learn about new and not always common animals.

The setup is the same: awesome endpapers, a most useful table of contents, just the right amount of information to keep kids reading and not being overwhelmed by too many facts. Yet, they will learn a lot they did not know, and be able to share their new knowledge with others.

Each two-page spread has a heading, a few short paragraphs pertinent to the topic, and detailed and appealing artwork that draws the reader's attention. The facts provided are just what kids want to know. The illustrations will elicit wonder at the size and the charm of this creature that is rarely shared in books about the North. The blues of the ocean and the northern skies add interest, and a feeling of being present with these lumbering creatures on their ice floes. Author and illustrator perfectly collaborate to bring this seemingly awkward and clumsy denizen of the Arctic habitat to our attention.  
"Walruses move slowly  on land, but they can swim quickly. A walrus can swim just over 4 miles (about 6 kilometres) per hour. Some have even been known to swim over 21 miles (about 34 kilometres) per hour."

Now that you know about the bowhead whale, the muskox and the walrus, you might want to look for the other animals in this wonderful series: the narwhal, and the polar bear. It's a terrific set.

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