So much information presented that readers may well be pooped when they finish.

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL POOP!

FROM LIONS TO TAPEWORMS, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT SCAT, FRASS, DUNG, AND MORE!

From bluebird and alpaca droppings to buffalo dung and termite frass, an upbeat guide to coprology, the study of feces.

Who knew that possums release a sticky green anal liquid when threatened, that some animals use defensive defecation to frighten predators, that moose poo makes good jewelry or that some animals practice coprophagia, or feces eating? If it’s possible for a nonfiction work to have too much information, this volume may be the case. But Cusick affects a compensatory subversive tone: This isn’t a work for squeamish adults; it’s for kids who supposedly delight in all things scatological, and they’re encouraged to “[j]ust hide the book in your backpack or your sock drawer and make sure [adults] don’t catch you grinning after you’ve been looking at it.” Who wouldn’t be grinning after reading about dung spiders that look like “a pile of poop,” plankton poo or the variations in color of Adélie penguin droppings? Rooted in a tremendous amount of research, as indicated by the two-page list of acknowledgments, this is a bright and inviting treatment of an unusual subject. Every page is packed with colorful photographs, and the text is an accumulation of snippets, a few sentences about each of the hundreds of topics. A browser’s delight.

So much information presented that readers may well be pooped when they finish. (further activities, glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-936140-42-8

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Imagine Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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Sketchy text notwithstanding, an eye-filling gallery of creature features.

LIFE-SIZE ANIMALS

AN ILLUSTRATED SAFARI

Nature large in tooth and claw.

Ample enough in trim size (double-page spreads are 15 inches high by 22.4 inches wide) to offer a frontal view of a tiger’s face on the cover and full-body portraits within of evocatively named creatures including both the goliath frog and the goliath birdeater tarantula, this album of digital paintings rivals Steve Jenkins’ classic Actual Size (2004) for both realism and visual drama. Along with portraying the jagged dentifrice of a white shark and the eyes of an elephant, a blue whale, and a giant squid from just inches away, Grott intersperses collective gatherings of naturally posed animal relatives in full or partial views, plus select galleries of outsized tongues, claws, tails, and other parts. Schiavo occasionally waxes grandiose in her one- to three-sentence captions, dubbing bats “Lords of the Night,” for instance and, even less plausibly, hummingbirds “Warriors of the Sun.” She also leaves armchair naturalists unenlightened about how a ball python could keep its eggs warm, how a goliath frog’s lack of vocal sacs would amplify its croaking, or the significance of a musk deer’s pointy “primordial” canines. Still, she does offer common names and measurements (albeit and regrettably in English units only) for each subject.

Sketchy text notwithstanding, an eye-filling gallery of creature features. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4460-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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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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