Bubble Homes and Fish Farts


Bubbles are for popping, fishing, finding food—and for sailing, playing, and shooting hoops! Who knew animals used bubbles for so many different things? Learn about how the water spider builds a bubble home underneath the water, how snapping shrimp use bubbles to talk to each other, or how dolphins play with bubbles as if it’s a game. Whether they are riding, breathing, or making bubbles, one thing is for sure—animals use bubbles in amazing ways.

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Bubbles are for popping, fishing, finding food—and for sailing, playing, and shooting hoops! Who knew animals used bubbles for so many different things? Learn about how the water spider builds a bubble home underneath the water, how snapping shrimp use bubbles to talk to each other, or how dolphins play with bubbles as if it’s a game. Whether they are riding, breathing, or making bubbles, one thing is for sure—animals use bubbles in amazing ways.

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Editorial Reviews

Junior Library Guild
Bayrock's writing is dynamic, with onomatopoeic language and kid-friendly comparisons to engage and inform.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Literature
If most children think bubbles are for blowing or bubbles are for bathing, Bayrock is here with a paradigm shift . . .
CM Magazine
Creative, innovative and entertaining. . . a refreshingly unique perspective on a simple theme. Highly Recommended
The Miss Rumphius Effect
...an all-out fun-fest of animal bubbleology. ... Accompanied by a soft palette of gorgeous watercolor illustrations, Bayrock takes readers on a journey into worlds not often explored. Each double-page spread begins with a short sentence that describes the way in which bubbles are used. Beneath that are the common and scientific names for an animal, followed by a paragraph that describes how that particular creature uses bubbles in its daily life. The illustrations are whimsical, with each animal spouting its thoughts in, you guessed it, a bubble. ... This is a well-researched, thoroughly engaging book for studying animals and the way they adapt to their environment. I highly recommend it.
Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Bubbles come from those jars of soapy liquid children use to blow delicate spheres that float on the air, right? There is a lot more to these spherical wonders. Animal and insect kingdoms use bubbles in many, many creative ways. This beautifully-illustrated book features bubbles that do not usually occur to young readers, such as those in our lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans. Backswimmer bugs use bubbles as scuba tanks while they dive beneath the surface to look for food. Violet sea snails float along the ocean's surface on a raft of bubbles. A pod of humpback whales blow a net of bubbles to surround and trap schools of fish, which the whales swallow whole. Sea otters use the bubbles they trap into their thick fur to keep them warm. Marine mammal experts have discovered that dolphins play with bubbles, and herring use Fast Repetitive Ticks—FaRTs—to communicate. Land animals use bubbles too: the rattlebox moths use bubbles to keep predators away; frogs use bubbles for nesting materials, and spittlebug nymphs use bubbles for safe havens. The book is packed with bubbly facts, with additional, in-depth information in the back as well as a glossary and index. The cited scientists and scholars are top notch. I recommend this book wholeheartedly, with one slight hesitation: using the word "Fart" in the title can be either a turn-off for adults or an attention-getter for young readers who need to read inside to discover that these farts are not flatulence. Let's hope it is the latter. Reviewer: Judy Crowder
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4

Fast Repetitive Tick (FaRT) is the term scientists use to describe the flatulencelike noise that herring make as they communicate their locations to one another other. That might be the most amusing description of the uses of bubbles in the natural world, but this entire book is enjoyable and engaging. From the protective hiding places young juniper spittlebugs create to the foamy nest that the African gray treefrog whips up around her freshly laid eggs in the branches above a pool, bubbles are described and pictured. The illustrations are pale and less-detailed versions of scientifically accurate drawings overlaid with entertaining comments, e.g., parent frogs admonish, "Careful, kids!" and "Don't talk to any predators!" The comments may be corny, but they infuse the information with fun. The single-page glossary defines terms simply and effectively, e.g., flatulence is described as "The scientific name for farting." Two spreads of "More amazing facts..." offer additional information about each species' habitat, location, and physical attributes. Creative, accessible, and fact-filled.-Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Bayrock's love of "way cool science" bubbles over in this surprisingly substantial book. How do animals use bubbles? For sailing, running, breathing, nesting-even playing (dolphins seem to blow bubbles just for fun). Sixteen double-page spreads cover 16 wholly different ways that fish, insects, amphibians and mammals use bubbles. Did you know that one species of spider creates a bubble home to live in underwater? That the popping bubbles of snapping shrimp can be "so loud it gets in the way of U.S. Navy sonar"? That the water shrew can actually run across the surface of the water courtesy of the bubbles trapped between its hairy toes? Lively expository prose deftly combines straightforward facts (the scientific name of each animal), sound effects (the "fwap-fwap-fwap-fwap" of tree frogs creating foam) and kid-friendly comparisons (the gourami fish spitting eggs into its nest looks like it's playing basketball). Conahan's whimsical watercolor illustrations, complete with conversational bubbles, add humor and interest. Three pages of additional facts and a combined glossary/index round out a volume that's sure to rise to the top. (Informational picture book. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570916700
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Pages: 45
  • Sales rank: 1,426,855
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Fiona Bayrock has always enjoyed playing with words, but was well into adulthood before discovering her passion for science. She has since written books for educational and specialty markets in Canada and the U.S., as well as 60+ articles, stories, and poems for children's magazines such as Highlights for Children, Odyssey, KNOW, and YES Magazine. Fiona lives in British Columbia, Canada.

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