Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons

illus. by T.S Spookytooth. 32p. further reading. glossary. websites. Millbrook. Oct. 2013. lib. ed. $26.60. ISBN 978-0-7613-8464-9. ebook available. LC 2012048894.
K-Gr 2—Levine takes a unique approach to comparative anatomy. The purpose of the book is to illustrate differences between human and animal bone structures. Each page presents a question, e.g., "What kind of animal would you be if your finger bones grew so long that they reached your feet?" The answer is revealed with the turn of the page ("A bat!"). The bright, stylized, color illustrations match each question, portraying cartoon children with distorted anatomy, such as a girl with a neck like a giraffe's, or a snake with a human head. Some may find the gloppy piles of cartoon children with no bones unappetizing, while others may find the peculiar images amusing. Many of the riddlelike questions will play well in a storytime setting, allowing readers to ask a question and permitting children to imagine and participate in the answer. Bone by Bone does not have the detailed informational content or illustrative depth of Steve Parker's Skeleton (DK, 1988), but it does succeed in presenting basic structural differences among animals. This unusual book is interactive and thought-provoking, if a little gross in certain sections.—Jeffrey Meyer, Mount Pleasant Public Library, IA

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