Open Wide!: A Look Inside Animal Mouths

Overview

Dozens of startling, close-up photos and info-packed verse explore reasons why animals might have their mouths open. Are they yawning? Screeching? Yelling? Warning? Trying to catch food? Or maybe just pleading for food?

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Overview

Dozens of startling, close-up photos and info-packed verse explore reasons why animals might have their mouths open. Are they yawning? Screeching? Yelling? Warning? Trying to catch food? Or maybe just pleading for food?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Vivid photographs show a menagerie of animals with their mouths wide open, as rhyming verses describe each animal, including a raccoon, zebra, eel, ostrich, clam, and turtle. Ham’s conversational verse also includes surprising details about the animals’ unique characteristics; of the Komodo dragon, she writes, “For the longest time scientists thought/ Germs sickened their prey so it died/ But now their studies have shown them/ Komodo teeth have poison inside.” Though the verse is not always lyrical and the design is busy and looks dated, it’s a novel way to look at some familiar (and less familiar) animals. Available simultaneously: Step Inside! A Look Inside Animal Homes. Ages 4–7. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Krisan Murphy
Thirty-two pages of mouths wide open! From orangutans to hippos, from frogs to lemurs, fish, and fowl, readers get a look inside animal mouths. This charming book of photographs captures fright, anger, apathy, and more in the expressions of a vast variety of animals with their jaws open. Each photograph is accompanied by a rhyming poem about the animal and its yawn. Readers learn that it is the prairie dog's "job to warn of danger - which he does by barking hard." From the laughable turtle's mouth to the fierce sharp-pointed teeth of the leopard, students learn about the life and habitat of the animals. This science book in disguise could be a teacher's tool for teaching students how animals' mouths are designed for the foods they eat. The inside of the penguin's mouth is fascinating: "What you see in this mouth/ Are toothlike barbs/ A kind of backward-pointing hook/ Just jagged as they look." The poetry is not only informational, but catchy and fun. Reviewer: Krisan Murphy
Kirkus Reviews
Along with companion Step Inside! A Look Inside Animal Homes (also 2012), a visually captivating but politically flawed peek into the world of fauna. Both chronicle a fascinating array of 24 animals from a good mix of classes. In Step Inside!, most pages include several photos, allowing a glimpse of both the animal and its home, although a more wide-angled view would have given a better idea of the home in its surroundings. In addition, some animals are grouped together ("reef fish"), and the "homes" described are not accurate for the entire group. Open Wide! is the better of the two titles, although many opinions are worked into the factual poems. While Ham no doubt provides a few interesting facts about both animal homes and mouths, the delivery is ultimately flawed, the content sacrificed to the form. With rhyme schemes that change within the poems, words that don't quite rhyme, rhythm that falters and a dearth of punctuation, these animal poems are difficult to read at best: "A turtle's mouth / Is different / It's not like mine or yours / First off, it has no teeth / But extremely hard, strong jaws." Backmatter features a picture collage of 10 additional animal mouth/homes and an index. Ham's information and photos would have been much better served with a strictly nonfiction, non-rhyming format. (Informational poetry. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983201434
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

An avid birdwatcher and hiker, Catherine Ham enjoys writing about animals she has seen in the wild. She is the author of several best-selling knitting books, including WEEKEND CRAFTER KNITTING: 20 SIMPLE STYLISH WEARABLES FOR BEGINNERS. Catherine lives in Austin, Texas.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    My daughter has this book with her almost all of the time She re

    My daughter has this book with her almost all of the time She repeats the verses to adults, then surprises them with the photos that go with them. I had no idea how much there was to learn about animal mouths.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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