Children's LiteratureThis book offers a great deal of illustration interspersed with colorful photographs and wonderful drawings that introduce children to these unusual animals. It is part of "The Science of Living Things" series. The book includes a glossary that explains some of the words printed in bold in the text; explanations of the others are incorporated in the text. Unfortunately, there is no way of differentiating between these bolded words. There also is a table of contents, and an index. Many animals are described, and their common traits explained. Illustrations show the animals in their native habitat, many of which feature gory prey. The use of sidebars and boxes to call attention to certain facts is effectively used here. There is certainly a place for this title and series in an elementary school classroom or library. 2000, Crabtree Publishing Company, Ages 7 to 12, $5.95. Reviewer: Candace Deisley
School Library JournalGr 1-3-The first book examines ways that animals' bodies and/or behavior help them survive in particular habitats. Types of adaptation include camouflage, hibernation, and migration. The second entry looks at the group of animals that includes the kangaroo, koala, and opossum. The last title covers various methods of locomotion such as swimming, flying, and jumping. In all three books, a two-page spread is devoted to a particular topic. Though none of the information is oversimplified, it is rather generalized. For example, in Marsupial, only one page is devoted to the opossum and it includes a discussion of varieties found in other countries as well as the North American species. A combination of color photographs and drawings adequately illustrate the texts. Though the information provided is simple, the language is a bit too difficult for the newly independent readers whom Kalman seems to be targeting. Many of the scientific terms are boldfaced and defined in the text and/or in the glossary, but there isn't much consistency as to which ones are defined where. Of the three books, Marsupials is the most successful, mainly because it has the narrowest scope. However, none of these offerings is in-depth enough to serve as a primary source for reports. All three are best suited to youngsters looking for brief answers to satisfy their curiosity and casual browsers who are animal enthusiasts.-Arwen Marshall, formerly at New York Public Library Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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