Curious Creatures Working with Tools

Flying Eye. Aug. 2022. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781838740016.
K-Gr 3–This fun and educational picture book in the “Curious Creatures” series introduces a variety of animals that use tools in creative and unusual ways. The animals span from the well-known chimpanzee with a stick retrieving insects to the lesser known, and frankly adorable, otter using seaweed to secure a snack to its floating belly. The text is descriptive and active, written in a present tense narrative with onomatopoeia as the animals “tap tap” and “boom boom” their tools. In smaller windows of text, readers learn how animals are “just like you” and what is in each “animal’s toolkit.” Armstrong covers how animals create and adapt tools, seem to have favorites, and may even learn to use human tools. The spreads in pencil and digital media are entirely endearing, though not overly cartoony or doe-eyed. The color and detail are impeccable, with a purple octopus standing out in particular. The few people depicted accurately represent the diversity in the regions of the shown animals.
VERDICT While there is no back matter, this entertaining and informative title is a delightful read-aloud and a recommended addition to the nonfiction shelves.

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