Let’s talk about animal adaptations!
Preschoolers are naturally curious and are filled with a million and one questions (on a slow day). Kaner takes on some animal-themed questions by examining how different species of animals have adapted to deal with chilly weather. The species are international: Alaskan wood frogs, Japanese macaques, and guanacos share the book with more familiar species such as squirrels, butterflies, and penguins. Some species are rather far-reaching. Are tuataras on a preschooler’s radar? And although a beaver opens the book with a fanciful scenario in which it turns up a thermostat, it’s never revealed how beavers stay warm. Resourceful educators may use these more unusual species as a launchpad for further exploration. Martz’s illustrations, which appear to be digital, humorously support the text throughout. Disappointingly, however the design of the book fails to take advantage of the page turn. The questions Kaner asks (“Do honeybees use teamwork?”) are answered across the gutter, effectively stopping all open-ended discussion among readers. This is unfortunate because it greatly limits the use of the book or requires jury-rigged props to promote critical-thinking and discussion skills. Furthermore, there is no backmatter with further reading or more information about the animal species discussed.
It’s worth a look, but it won’t be a star player in any collection. (Informational picture book. 6-8)