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by John Malam

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—These titles have two-page chapters of accessible, large-type text and bright color photos and illustrations. Hippos answers such questions as, "Were There Ancient Hippos?" and "Do Hippos Have Enemies?" The second title discusses how "biters find their victims" and whether microscopic creatures are good for us. Pinnipeds describes how walruses and seals swim, and their predators. Swarms asserts that the Madagascar hissing cockroach is a "great pet." The series distinguishes itself with "X-Ray Vision." When readers hold the page with this prompt up to the light, an image emerges. The X-rays mostly show the skeletal structures of the animals. Text boxes throughout add to the visual appeal. Readers could easily flip through these titles and glean important facts, including how human beings affect the animals and their habitats. Pictures of the creatures feeding on or being fed to another animal are included. The subject is handled matter-of-factly. In Hippos, Clarke says about a baby hippo, "But its death is not a waste, because its body provides food for other creatures." These titles are excellent resources for school assignments and browsing.—Lori A. Guenthner, Baltimore County Public Library, Randallstown, MD
Children's Literature - Sue Poduska
Part of the "Scary Creatures" series, this book provides a lot of information about the lives of seals, sea lions, and walruses. The reader learns that pinniped means fin footed, that there are three families of pinnipeds, and that many pinnipeds are threatened species. Because they can hold their breaths for up to twenty minutes, they can dive to great depths. Pinnipeds are carnivores who also swallow rocks, which may aid their digestion. They eat everything from penguins to fish to sea cucumbers and clams. We learn about their fur, their migration habits, and about their singing. They are hunted by killer whales, polar bears, wolves, and eagles. The gestation period is 11 months, and they live for 15 to 25 years. Some of these animals have been used by humans to entertain and to help in missile retrieval. The illustrations, contributed by five artists and several photographers, are lively and add plenty of information. This title contains pinniped facts, a glossary, and an index, though references for further study would be helpful. Reviewer: Sue Poduska

Product Details

Scholastic Library Publishing
Publication date:
Scary Creatures Series
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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