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Summary: This fascinating book explains the reasons certain animals ended up with some pretty interesting names. Besides the elephant fish and the elephant shrew, the wolf spider, and tiger beetle there are about 250 other critters whose names are explained in short paragraphs, all accompanied by illustrations. This is an illustrated nonfiction chapter book that covers the animal kingdom.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, middle grade reader, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 and Up; read yourself: 10 and up
Interest Level: 6 and Up
Reading Level: 5.1
Age of Child: Read with a group of nine-year-old students.
Young Reader Reaction: A friend of mine shared this book with a few of his students and they loved it. In fact, a number of them asked if they could check the book out over night. It took him almost a week to get the book back to me! He is going to purchase one himself for his classroom.
Adult Reader Reaction: What a wonderful, cool book! I loved the concept and the photography, and I learned a lot about some very odd creatures.
Pros: This book is perfect for the classroom, home-schooling families, or kids who love animals. Every library should have a copy or two!
Cons: Absolutely none.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a must-have for school and public libraries. Kids - including dormant readers - will find it too fascinating to put down.
Educational Themes: Given the extensiveness of the content and the way the chapters are broken down by species, you can do a lot with this book. Not only can you contrast/compare animals and names, but you can also look at habitat and the science of naming creatures (i.e., Latin origins).
Notes: Bob Walch, Monterey, California, sent us this review. Bob's reviews appear in the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, Aptos Times, Ride/Western Times and Coast Views Magazine. His online reviews can be found at MyShelf, Roundtable Reviews, Parent Click, Midwest Book Review, and I Love a Mystery.