Stink Fights, Earwax, and Other Marvelous Mammal Adaptations

Nomad. (Picture Book Science). Aug. 2020. 32p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781619309579; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781619309609.
K-Gr 3–This entertaining science title highlights unique adaptations of 14 mammals. Following a few introductory pages, each animal is given a two-page spread. Animal profiles feature a simple topic sentence or fact rendered in a playful font. Brief paragraphs with smaller-size text offer additional information. A couple of descriptions seem subjective, such as the sentence discussing the southern elephant seals: “Like sloths, southern elephant seals may look like a bunch of large, lazy bums—with funny noses—when they are on shore. In the water, though, they move like a torpedo.” Discussion questions encourage readers to contemplate animal adaptations beyond the text. In the section on bats, readers are asked, “How would you like to sleep upside down to make it easier to get out of bed?” With the exception of some small photos in the back matter, the animals are illustrated in color. Mazeika’s illustrations use an anatomically correct but cartoon style. The animals are depicted as happy, serene, or playful. For example, the bats are drawn with softened facial features and smiles. Each animal appears in its natural habitat; the various environments showcase a nature-inspired palette. Back matter includes simple activities, facts, and a glossary.
VERDICT Enjoyable, light reading for browsers and fans of animal nonfiction. A good addition to classroom libraries.

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