FICTION

Owls! Strange and Wonderful

illus. by Meryl Henderson. 32p. (Strange and Wonderful). bibliog. further reading. glossary. index. websites. Boyds Mills. Mar. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781620916513.
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Gr 3–6—Pringle and Henderson successfully pair up again for the newest installment in this series. Employing a conversational tone, the author thoroughly covers the basics of these nocturnal birds, shedding light on habitat, life cycle, and biology. A large variety of owls are expertly compared to one another, as well as to other birds and even humans. The book includes aspects often missed in similar titles, such as the shape of the feet, the placement of the eyes, and the number of vertebrae; all are explained and made exciting. Hunting habits are also described and clearly depicted; the illustrations often show unlucky mice and fish caught in an owl's talons or mouths, but the images, though realistic, are never graphic. Information about the variations in owl pellets and how to sterilize them will inspire students to look for ways to get some hands-on experience for themselves. Back matter will lead young researchers to learn more, and the glossary is especially informative.
VERDICT A great purchase for report writers, budding ornithologists, and generally curious readers.

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