NONFICTION

WildLives: 50 Extraordinary Animals that Made History

S. & S./Atheneum. Feb. 2020. 112p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781534454842.
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Gr 4-8–Lerwill introduces readers to 50 animals that have left their mark on the world. The book is divided into five sections, each of which includes the stories of 10 animals related to the designated topic. The stories feature animals that have saved lives such as Cher Ami, a female homing pigeon who was used by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I, and Sergeant Stubby, a dog who served in 17 battles on the Western Front. The text also highlights animals who have taught humans more about the natural world. David Greybeard was the chimpanzee studied by Jane Goodall; Alex was a parrot who learned to understand hundreds of words. The text covers both domesticated animals (cats, dogs, and horses) and wild animals (a rhino, an elephant, and a falcon). Each two-page spread is nicely balanced between text and illustrations. Photographs are included with some of the stories. A map, a glossary, and an index are included, but the book lacks a works cited page or a bibliography.
VERDICT An interesting collection of tales for readers who enjoy true stories about unusual animals. For general purchase where such collections are needed and enjoyed.

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