Gr 2-4-A description of the forms and functions of various wild animals' tails. After an introductory chapter about general characteristics of tails and their uses, Patent discusses them according to a particular function: movement, balance, communication, and survival. Attention is given to explaining how physical attributes contribute to animal behavior. The fluid text maintains continuity within the theme of each chapter. Full-color photographs are clear, but some are rather small. Captions are printed in small type with pictures carefully labeled if more than one photograph appears on a page. Many creatures, such as the alligator, peacock, and seahorse, are duplicated in Marlene Robinson's What Good Is a Tail? (Shapolsky, 1991), but plenty of different ones are also featured. While Patent's book is colorful and more visually appealing, Robinson's provides more specific information.-Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ
ger for reading aloud. Patent answers the title question and then some in this short, appealing book which, like her book, above, also features photographs by William Munoz. In uncondescending language that never lapses into the cutesy style of some nonfiction for younger readers, the author explains what a tail is and what it does and looks at some of the many species that have them. Juxtaposed with the generously spaced text are a profusion of color photographs that exhibit the high quality we've come to expect from Munoz. No sources are given, but the book, which has a place in both school and public libraries, will be useful for reports and attractive to browsers.