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KLIATTLinden's intense interest in and love for animals is back in this follow-up to The Parrot's Lament and Other Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity. Written in an easy-to-read style, it seems at first glance a story collection. Though it is filled with anecdotal evidence of the tricks and smarts of animals, it also contains much commentary on the similarities and differences between human and animal intelligence, and the difficulties encountered in the research and discovery of intelligence and the thinking abilities of animals. It raises the issue of what intelligence is and where it originates in a sentient being. Linden asks more questions than he answers, understandable in light of the incredible stories he tells, especially of animals in captivity, the easiest place for humans to observe them. Along with stories of a large octopus slithering through a two-inch pipe and elephants unlocking cages and switching places in the night, he looks at games animals make up, tools they use, aggression with weapons; their ability to deceive, their cooperation with their caretakers and other animals, participation in the arts and sciences, and communication with people and each other. Linden draws on physics and evolution as well as psychology and sociology, while at the same time casting doubts on the scientific method as the exclusive path to knowing the true intelligence of animals. This book would be a bit overwhelming for the average junior high student. The good reader, however, would find the anecdotes entertaining. For older YAs and adults, this book will entertain and inform anyone with the slightest interest in animals. It is an excellent choice for boostingappreciation of the natural world and sparking interest in its preservation. KLIATT Codes: SA-Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, Penguin Putnam, Plume, 242p. index., Ages 15 to adult.
— Ann Hart