Cindy L. Carolan
Animals and Their Mates: How Animals Attract, Fight for and Protect Each Otherby Pamela Hickman, Pat Stephens
In this book in the Animal Behavior series, discover how animals attract, fight for and protect each other.
Children's LiteratureFor those readers who may feel a little "funny" about the whole idea of relationships between males and females (even those outside our species), fear not. Some animals think that fighting and urinating in public are perfectly acceptable ways of attracting and winning mates, rather than being rude and unacceptable acts. Male honeybees explode and die after they mate with a queen. Earthworms, snails and slugs are both male and female at the same time. This introduction to the animal mating process is tastefully written, factual without being clinical, humorous and engaging without being farcical. Some of the animals discussed in this slim yet very comprehensive book are red-sided garter snakes, orangutans, harbor seals and osprey. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations that depict the beauty of members of the animal kingdom and their environment without being artificial fill the pages. This book would make an excellent addition to a school or home library, or a gift for any nature-loving child. The author is a natural science writer who lives in Nova Scotia. Highly recommended. 2004, Kids Can Press, Ages 7 to 11.
Cindy L. Carolan
Kirkus ReviewsThis entry in a long-running series on animal behavior (Animals and Their Young, 2003; Animals Eating, 2001, etc.) suffers more from lack of organization than does its predecessors, but still offers plenty of fascinating facts. The subtitle promises more than readers get-most of the work covers the varied ways animals attract mates, from saliva balls to extra-long canine teeth. The whens and wheres of animal mating are covered pretty thoroughly, also, though never the hows-and the illustrations shy away from it, too. Animals protecting each other? Not in this. Stephen's watercolor illustrations are consistently accurate and detailed. Unfortunately the amazing diversity of animal behavior works against any sort of storyline or conclusion here. Information comes in sound bites, and the effort suffers from it. Good, maybe the best available on the subject, but not great. (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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