July 31, 2015

Animal noses

Noses that Plow and Poke
by Diane Swanson

Animals depend on their noses to sniff out food, but that's not all. Noses are used to dig, plow, or pick things up. They're also used as a means of defense or communication. To find out more, read this book. You may be surprised at what a nose can do.

July 29, 2015

Animal tails

Animal Tails
by Beth Fielding

Colourful photos, a bright layout, and easy-to-understand text make this book very attractive to children. They'll enjoy entertaining family and friends with interesting facts about fly-swatter tails, prehensile tails, bushy tails and stinging tails. The end pages, called "Tail Talk", are filled with even more fascinating info.

Terrific Tails
by Hana Machotka

Close-ups of an animal's tail asks readers to guess to which animal the tail belongs. The answer follows on the next page, along with explanations of the tail's usage. The clever format keeps kids reading and learning. 

July 27, 2015

Animal butts

Bottoms Up! A Book About Rear Ends
by Marilyn Singer
illustrations by Patrick O'Brien

The interesting title should draw readers in, as will the chicken's rear end. Not all the pictures are as successful (bigger would be better), but kids are bound to learn some interesting facts.  Even the human butt gets a page.

A very unique book.

July 24, 2015

Amazing animal eyes

Animal Eyes
by Beth Fielding

Balloon eyes, glow-in-the-dark eyes, fake eyes, and winking eyes - these are just some of the fascinating animal eyes mentioned in this book. With lots of close-up photos and short, easy text, kids will be reading it again and again.

Extraordinary Eyes: How Animals See the World
by Sandra Sinclair

With explanations of photoreceptors, wavelengths, and bioluminescence, Sinclair's book is for older (ages 9+) and scientifically-curious readers who want to know exactly how things work. Unfortunately, there are a couple of errors that needed correction after the book was printed; these are mentioned with an errata note on the inside front cover. Nonetheless, the book offers lots of information concerning the hows and whys of animal vision. It truly is extraordinary.

July 22, 2015

Eye-popping eyes

Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World
by Steve Jenkins

Jenkins' stellar paper collages showcase the amazing variety of animal eyes, from the simple eyespots of slugs to the compound eyes of insects and the camera eyes of cats. A simple chart showing the evolution of the eye is an apt touch.

Highly recommended.

July 20, 2015

Eye-catching mystery

The Queen's Shadow: A Story About How Animals See
by Cybèle Young

Someone has stolen the Queen's shadow! On the case is Mantis Shrimp, the Royal Detective. As he questions the guests, which include Chameleon, Lancehead Snake, Dragonfly, and Colossal Squid, he learns a few key facts about how animals see.

A creative detective story that cleverly blends fiction with science to inform and amuse young readers.

July 17, 2015

Cocos Island sharks

Journey to Shark Island: A Shark Photographer's Close Encounters
by Mary M. Cerullo
photographs by Jeffrey L. Rotman

Cocos Island, just off the coast of Costa Rica, is home to a variety of sharks. Underwater explorer Jeff Rotman spent thirty days photographing hammerheads, silvertips, whitetips, tiger sharks and silky sharks. Cerullo offers interesting facts about each shark and describes how Rotman takes his dramatic pictures. Included is a photo of a shark without its fins to urge readers to protect this vital predator.

Other books in the Shark Expedition series are:

July 15, 2015

Exploring the ocean with Sylvia Earle

Dive: My Adventures In the Deep Frontier
by Sylvia A. Earle

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle talks about her life and work in this attractive, photo-filled book. Kids will be fascinated to learn about her research on whales and coral reefs, her stay in an underwater laboratory, and her work in deep ocean submarines. Her book ends with a plea to conserve the marine environment.

An excellent introduction to the ocean world.

July 13, 2015

Jacques Cousteau

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau
by Jennifer Berne
illustrated by Éric PuyBaret

A poetic biography of Jacques Cousteau and his life in the sea, Berne's book is filled with magic and wonder. A fold-out spread dramatically illustrates the ocean's depths.

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau
by Dan Yaccarino

Yaccarino's retro drawings perfectly capture the amazing world under the sea, as does the book's large format presentation. Cousteau's story is told in simple, clear prose, making his achievements easily understandable for ages six and up. Cousteau's character is further illuminated through his actual words, which may be found on several pages.

A very attractive book.

July 10, 2015

Buried secrets

Secrets Underground: North America's Buried Past
by Elizabeth MacLeod

Surprising secrets are revealed in MacLeod's intriguing look at the world beneath our feet. Who knew that San Francisco was built on top of sailing ships, that criminals were hiding in Saskatchewan tunnels, or that vital war machinery existed beneath New York's Grand Central Station? 

MacLeod begins rather slowly with the discovery of a lost city in Mexico, but subsequent chapters on war caves and secret bunkers will soon have readers enthralled. Colour and black-and-white photos add visual interest though some are a little on the small side. But the stories are fascinating and do a good job of capturing bygone eras and moments of history.

A very interesting book.

July 8, 2015

Female cave explorers

Exploring Caves: Journeys into the Earth
by Nancy Holler Aulenbach and Hazel A. Barton

Join Nancy and Hazel as they descend into the ice caves of Greenland and the underwater caves of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Their enthusiasm for caving is infectious as they describe their adventures, their backgrounds, and their inspirations. Full-colour photos add to the wonder.

An excellent book to fuel interest in science.

July 6, 2015

Secret tunnels

Hidden Worlds: Amazing Tunnel Stories
by Debora Pearson
art by Tina Holdcroft

Did you know that there's an underground church made of salt? Or that tiny trains once ran under the streets of Chicago? Visit these hidden tunnels and other secret passages in this amusing thirty-two-page book. Decorated with cartoon characters and quips, this is a lively read that will intrigue ages five to eight.