Eek! There’s a mouse about the house! Aah—isn’t he cute? Do not dismiss that dichotomy as unlikely until you have seen Kalman’s educational and captivating presentation from the “It’s Fun To Learn About Baby Animals” series on the animals some people derisively call vermin. Whether they are preconceived as distasteful or adorable to you, this educational presentation is based on the human proclivity for the lovability of the baby of the species. You will find information on their diets, homes, appearances, and characteristics. This book is well suited to the elementary school library or classroom libraries in grades 2 through 4 for a research project. Page 23 even pictures four “look alike” rodents and challenges the student to find out what kind of animals they really are. However, adults will also find this an enjoyable read with an interested younger child. The photographs of the animals on a clear white background stand out brightly and draw the viewer to them. The text is simple and informative. The 24-page book contains facts and pictures of rodents in the wild (such as squirrels, beavers, and chipmunks) and from the pet store (such as rats, guinea pigs, and gerbils). There is a table of contents and a pictorial glossary and index. This is an ample comprehensive, quality publication. Reviewer: Joan Vogel; Ages 6 to 9.
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—These titles support introductory life-science studies. Carnivores covers animal taxonomy and the food chain and also discusses the species' habitats, characteristics, and behaviors. Color photos include baby carnivores, such as a cuddly polar bear, a lion cub, and a helpless-looking baby ferret. From pygmy jerboas to capybaras, Rodents offers straightforward, comprehensive information. This volume discusses the attributes of mammals before describing specific families. The final page includes an exercise that asks students to decide, "Are they rodents?" The clear color photos display a wide range of creatures. Both titles conclude with a combined illustrated glossary and index, which students working at the rudimentary report-writing level will find helpful. Kids will enjoy learning while building vocabulary and establishing a science foundation.—Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME