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WHO HAS THIS TAIL? by Laura Hulbert


by Laura Hulbert & illustrated by Erik Brooks

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9429-9
Publisher: Henry Holt

Hulbert and Brooks’ second pairing (Who Has These Feet?, 2011) sets readers to identifying animals by their tails and learning how those tails help them adapt.

The titular question is paired with a two-page close-up of an animal tail. The page turn reveals the entire animal in its habitat, the two-sentence text naming the animal and telling how it uses its tail: “A horse has this tail. A horse uses its tail to flick away flies.” But the horse is the most common of the animals presented. The rest will be a challenge, perhaps even for parents, whose toddlers may not be familiar with the physical characteristics of a beaver, a spider monkey, a rattlesnake, a scorpion, a gerbil, a shark, an Artic fox or a peacock. Making it even more challenging is the fact that the tails are shown in isolation against a white background, with nothing to give kids a clue as to size, perspective or habitat. While the final gatefold is rather uninspiring—just a larger, collagelike picture of all the animals that have been seen previously—the flaps of the gatefold are a checkerboard of animal heads and tails against brightly colored backgrounds, allowing for a great matching game. Brooks’ watercolor animals are realistic without being frightening, the colors nicely echoing those found in their habitats.

A great challenge for kids who have already mastered the basic pets and farm animals. (Informational picture book. 3-7)