Spy Hops and Belly Flops: Curious Behaviors of Woodland Animals

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Can you imagine what it’s like to be a curious spy hopper or a sleek belly flopper? You are invited to take a tour of field and forest to see how foxes keep a vigilant lookout, how otters play, and how a host of other wild animals communicate and survive in their natural world—and why.
Lynda Graham-Barber and Brian Lies intertwine playful rhymes and fascinating facts with luminous artwork, transporting readers...

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Brian Lies Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. 2004 Hard Cover New 8 x 10 1/2. First printing. Glossy pictorial hardcover. No DJ. Minimal shelfwear. Take a tour of field and forest to see ... how different animals communicate and survive in their natural world and why. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Can you imagine what it’s like to be a curious spy hopper or a sleek belly flopper? You are invited to take a tour of field and forest to see how foxes keep a vigilant lookout, how otters play, and how a host of other wild animals communicate and survive in their natural world—and why.
Lynda Graham-Barber and Brian Lies intertwine playful rhymes and fascinating facts with luminous artwork, transporting readers into the world of some of nature’s most fascinating creatures.

Invites the reader to observe forest animals and copy such behaviors as jumping into a puddle like a diving kingfisher, tapping a foot like a wood turtle, and buzzing near a flower like a hummingbird.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Graham-Barber's book is two-in-one with parallel texts of poetry and prose. The playful descriptions like bog wader (for moose) and cheek packer (for chipmunk) are poetic and clever with an irregular meter that occasionally force the rhyme. Single sentence prose introduces the behavior of mammals, birds, reptiles, bugs, and amphibians. The story begins at sundown and continues through the twilight with a section on nocturnal predators and prey. Lies' color illustrations transform a green rug in to tall grass. They lead the child through a cattail swamp, and a subjective point of view helps create a world where the reader is one of the animals. The book concludes with a return to the hall and questions about the preceding text, e.g., "Which of these animals would you most like to be?" It is a solid introduction to North American wildlife, with a mix of imagination and nonfiction that adds interest for beginning readers. 2004, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 5 to 8.
—Tina Dybvik
Kirkus Reviews
A lamentably excellent example of why children's books should never be forced into rhyme. Contrived couplets describing different animals' quirky actions: "Ready, set, jump into a puddle / like a noisy splasher. / Flap your hands behind you like a nervous tail flasher," make this a disastrous read-aloud. Can any adult say "prickly tree snacker" without grimacing? Fact does appear in the footnotes-non-rhyming explanations on each page that make far better reading than the main text. Lies's illustrations are accurate, but uninspired. Worst of all, the actions Barber describes with such phrases as "spy-hopper" and "swooping beeper" (a fox jumping onto its hind legs to look for other animals; a bat using echolocation to find dinner), would, if put into a more straightforward context, be fascinating. A missed opportunity. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618222919
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/22/2004
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Lies is the award-winning author-illustrator of the New York Times bestsellers Bats at the Beach , Bats at the Library , and Bats at the Ballgame . In addition, he has written and illustrated more than twenty books for children. Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Brian lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts with his wife and daughter. Visit www.BrianLies.com to learn more about the author and his books.

Lynda Graham-Barber lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont with her husband, David, and their three rescued dogs. This is her first book with Houghton Mifflin.

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