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Children's LiteratureThis volume, one of a series by the senior science editor of Highlights, collects eleven of his articles about animal discoveries that originally appeared in the magazine. Each chapter is based on a book or report published in a scientific journal by researchers in the field. The author distills complex information well for middle grade readers. Animals discussed in this volume include horses, cats, fireflies, chimps, snakes, komodo dragons, hummingbirds, antelopes, cheetahs, giraffes and turtles. Because the series brings together and updates so many excellent original pieces from Highlights, it might have been more useful for student researchers if the book contained a more thematic collection of animals, or else a thematic exploration the way of animal research is conducted. Sometimes chapters do segue well from one to the next: for example, a chapter about chimpanzee communication with humans follows one about firefly flash code communication; a chapter about the running prowess of the pronghorn antelope is paired with a chapter about cheetahs. Although there is no single theme to the book, aside from the amazing diversity of the animal world and the remarkable research going on about animals, the diversity of species represented here is stimulating and sure to inspire young readers. 2004 (orig. 1999), Boyds Mills Press, Ages 8 to 12.
—J. H. Diehl