Like an internet kitty video in book form, this should have young cat fanciers lapping it up

READ REVIEW

CAT TALES

TRUE STORIES OF KINDNESS AND COMPANIONSHIP WITH KITTIES

Cats are more than just adorable piano players and grumpy sloganeers.

Newman collects the life stories of 23 special pussycats and organizes them by the character attributes that best describe them. Each one is presented in a four- or five-page bio accompanied by full-color photos. Bambi, the deaf Siamese, is “awesome” because she, adopted purposefully by two deaf humans, learned several words in American Sign Language. Welsh puss Pudditat is “caring,” because he became a seeing-eye cat for his blind doggie buddy, Terfel, helping the pooch maneuver and giving him confidence. Hawaiian Kuli surfs and Australian Didga skateboards, among other tricks, making them “adventurous.” Humphrey was Prime Minister John Major’s “hardworking” mouser at 10 Downing St., and Californian cat Bubba actually attends human school, the very quintessence of “curious.” Between the kitty bios, veterinarian Gary Weitzman answers questions about cat behavior. There are a few breed descriptions and tips for training and ensuring a long and healthy life for pet kitties as well as “Just Fur Fun” facts and cat lore, including the 1877 experiment in Belgium that had cats delivering the mail and a comparison of “cat years” to human age. Cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider supplies a foreword.

Like an internet kitty video in book form, this should have young cat fanciers lapping it up . (Nonfiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: July 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2734-6

Page Count: 160

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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Convincing evidence that the boundaries between us and them aren’t all that sharp.

HUMANIMAL

INCREDIBLE WAYS ANIMALS ARE JUST LIKE US!

Eye-opening discoveries for readers who think only humans grieve, play, or admire themselves in mirrors.

Claiming the titular word (wrongly) as his own coinage, Lloyd develops the theme that many animals display behavior or characteristics once thought exclusively human, from living in cities (termites) to feeling emotions like love and grief (elephants, bonobos). The author extends commonly seen examples: Yes, as Jane Goodall has proven, chimps do use tools, but so do Australian black kites, which have been seen carrying burning sticks from fires to nearby grasslands to stir up prey. He also points to observations of bees communally deciding on where to establish a new hive; ravens repeatedly rolling down hills for, evidently, fun; and even slime molds showing a knack for constructing networks between food sources that rival for efficiency anything that civil engineers can concoct. In many reports he names animal researchers (though all but two of the 15 in his closing biographical gallery are white and European or American) and describes specific incidents or experiments. Ruffle adds big, boldly hued views of stylized but expressively posed, easily recognizable creatures against monochromatic or simplified natural backgrounds. The rare human figures are nearly all actual portraits.

Convincing evidence that the boundaries between us and them aren’t all that sharp. (index, selected scientific publications) (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-912920-01-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: What on Earth Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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