K-Gr 4-An informative and interesting look at how belly buttons are formed and how they differ on people and the animals that have them. Using clear, concise language, Batten explains that only mammals have navels. She describes how a fetus develops in its mother's uterus and how an umbilical cord works. Many examples of creatures with belly buttons are provided, from the largest, the blue whale, to the smallest, the bumblebee bat that "weighs no more than a penny." The colorful acrylic illustrations, often spread across two pages, add to the text, particularly the detailed drawings of animals. Unfamiliar words are italicized and defined in a glossary. This inviting book is useful for both reports and answering kids' questions.-Doris Losey, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, Tampa, FL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Batten introduces the characteristics that set mammals apart from other animals. Belly buttons are just the starting point for a fascinating look at how mammals develop. In-utero cross-sections of a human baby and a baby dolphin help young readers visualize the connection between mother and offspring. Colorful facts, such as the gestational times for different mammals, the various sizes of the babies when they are born, and the largest and smallest mammals in the world, will appeal to the animal-lover in every child. A glossary defines the words found in italics. Bond's paintings are detailed and realistic, accurately portraying the animals, both inside and out, and placing them in their natural environments. Each animal is shown gently nurturing its offspring, especially the human families, whose delight in their newest member is plain to see. An especially wonderful book to share with youngsters awaiting the birth of a sibling, and a great addition to the nonfiction library collection. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-10)