This book brings a little discussed anatomy feature to light. The intense eyes of the tiger staring out from the book's cover are diminished by the bright, white whiskers in this incredible photograph. Readers in grade two to four will learn some little known facts from chapters with clever headings, including "Lifesaver," "Seeing Eye Whiskers" (featuring the story of two cats who have been blind from birth but are incredible hunters due to the movement of their whiskers), "Living in the Dark," and "Underwater Magic" (the highlight of this chapter is a photograph of two manatees floating underwater and touching whiskers when they meet). The full-color photographs are breathtakingly beautiful. Interesting scientific facts, such as the walrus's ability to sweep for and eat clams using his whisker mustache, and that most animals with poor eyesight (and there are many) rely on their whiskers to alert them of predators and proximity to food, will lead to interesting discussions. Each chapter features two full-page distinct photos of the particular featured creature and two pages of scientific information. Big-whiskered harbor seals, newborn kittens, and whippoorwills are just some of the interesting creatures highlighted. Children will have questions about the different types of whiskers, and most are addressed in the fairly extensive "Glossary" and "Further Reading" sections. The "Websites" chapter contains information on red pandas and manatees. The "Index" is quite complete. This title is part of the "Look What Animals Can Do" series.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-These colorful series titles have fun facts and sharp, clear photos. Providing plenty of examples, they show how a variety of animals (mammals, fish, birds, insects, and reptiles) use their mouths, tails, or whiskers. For example, readers learn that leeches use their mouths to suck blood and can help save lives. Skinks can escape from their predators by leaving their tails behind. Manatees use their 600 short whiskers as fingers to help them find food. Kids will be captivated by the quirky use and build of certain animals' anatomy and will also be exposed to new creatures. The excellent-quality photographs, a conversational tone, short and concise sentences, and the large-font text make these books easily accessible for young readers. Youngsters will need to look elsewhere for report fodder, but those interested in animals will be fascinated by the information provided here.-Jennifer Cogan, Bucks County Free Library, Doylestown, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.