NONFICTION

Animals Reviewed: Starred Ratings of Our Feathered, Finned, and Furry Friends

Timber Pr. Oct. 2019. 180p. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781604699609.
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Gr 2-5–Zookeepers review amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and even a few insects residing in zoos and aquariums around the United States. Each page includes a large photo listing a range of facts: the exact animal name, the scientific name, and location along with a five-star rating system. Most profiles share a snappy catchphrase that preceeds the assessment. A few animals have their own spreads. Fiona the hippo (not mentioned by name) has a four-star rating. Despite her early arrival and maintenance costs, she is photogenic, a fast learner, and a great Cincinnati Zoo ambassador. The silly observations will make readers laugh: Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth actually came with three toes, the arctic fox is not a Pomeranian and its white fur acts as camouflage in the snow, the Flemish Giant rabbit is larger than anticipated, and the sea lion emits a strong smell. Most animals have positive or five-star ratings for their efficiency; the big brown bat keeps bugs away, the Andean condor cleans up disease-laden remains, and the lake sturgeon fish has survived millions of years with little change to its features. Some comments poke fun at the animal’s name, its coloration, or the noises it makes. Most comments highlight the animal’s positive qualities.
VERDICT Kids and adults will enjoy these quirky write-ups and could inspire readers to write their own reviews. A fun resource for browsing.

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