Books by Patricia Curtis

Released: June 1, 1997

Curtis (Aquatic Animals in the Wild and in Captivity, 1992) briefly describes the characteristics and plight of a dozen unusual endangered species of wildlife in habitats that range from the foothills of the Andes to the rain forests of Vietnam and Laos. Full-color, close-up photographs shot in wildlife reserves show such animals as the pudu (the world's smallest deer), golden lion tamarin (a monkey with a mane), a pygmy loris (a lemur-like primate), as well as the axolotl (a salamander), babirusa (a peculiar pig with tusks), and a red uakari (a red-faced monkey). The most familiar creature may be the Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard. Each animal is labeled with its status—rare, threatened, or endangered—depending on the severity of its decline. Curtis covers in summary the habits and habitats of the animals, and also discloses the nature of the threat to each one's survival or environment, e.g., acid rain, deforestation, poaching, overpopulation, pollution, etc. Unfortunately, no maps are included. Still, both children and adults will marvel at these eccentricities of the natural world and will quickly become concerned for them. (index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-11) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1992

Six aquatic habitats (freshwater lakes and wetlands; rivers; estuaries and salt marshes; coasts; coral reefs; and the open sea) and the animals that live in them are described, together with an overview of new aquariums that emphasize displaying animals in naturalistic settings plus chatty facts about birds, mammals, fish and invertebrates living in and around the waterways. The vivid color photos and informational tidbits are intriguing: e.g., the Baltimore Aquarium discovered that the blue poison arrow frog could be induced to lay eggs in the snapoff bottoms of two-liter soda bottles; and a giant Pacific octopus at the Scripps Aquarium supplemented his diet by climbing out of his tank at night and snacking on fish in neighboring tanks. One error will irritate shark fanciers: ``Instead of laying eggs like most other fish, sharks are live-bearers, animals that give birth to living young.'' Some are, yes, but some aren't (as visitors to the Smithsonian Museum shark exhibit will attest). Still, an attractive and informative book—a strong plea for protecting our watery environment and its inhabitants. Index. (Nonfiction. 10-12) Read full book review >