Fifteen animals introduce themselves and their behaviors.
After each, youngsters are encouraged to talk or act like them. Readers meet creatures that run, slither, swim, fly; they might live in a tropical forest, in Antarctica, or in a river or ocean. Each one is known for a unique, sometimes peculiar, habit. The Table of Contents provides a list of antics to come: howl like a wolf, slide like a penguin, sing like a whale. Many animals will be recognizable to children, but one or two may be unfamiliar, such as the bowerbird, which builds an elaborate nest, decorates it with found objects, and dances and sings to lure a prospective mate. Critters are captured in rich, matte colors; environments are somewhat representational, such as the acid-yellow desert the rattlesnake occupies. In the concluding section of each brief chapter, one or two members of a diverse cast of children demonstrate the activities that emulate the animal in question. Some of these are easier to enact than others (some require a great deal of room and water), but wild things who learn best by doing will appreciate the imaginative play. Serious naturalists will regret the absence of standardized facts, such as habitat/region and size, as well as suggestions for additional reading, but this is all about the action. As a bonus, masks can be downloaded from the publisher’s website.
Somewhat limited in scope but full of opportunities for participation. (Nonfiction. 5-8)