Animal tongues are surprisingly versatile.
This interactive introduction to a dozen animal tongues asks readers and listeners to stick out their own tongues and then imagine having a tongue like a sword, a straw, a nose, a mop…and so forth. Each page turn reveals the animal whose tongue has that look or function. An okapi has a tongue like a washcloth; an anteater has one like a whip; an octopus has two tongues; and “YOU” can “lick, taste, blow bubbles with gum, talk, and whistle.” Digital illustrations depict the hypothetical “you” of the story as a cartoon monkey until the very end, where “you” becomes a girl with straight black hair and light brown skin. A paragraph of text below the reveal explains what the creature’s tongue can do and how, and the creature is shown in a generalized natural context. Many species are specific (red-bellied woodpecker, Darwin’s hawkmoth, North American bullfrog, giant anteater, mourning geckos, Pallas’ long-tongued bat), but some are generic (snake, chameleon, dog). Some further information about these creatures’ tongues and where they live around the world is provided in the backmatter, and there is a short list of other “fun tongues.” Both concept and illustrations show the influence of Steve Jenkins’ animal anatomies.
Perfect for a group storytime, this is a useful addition to the wonders-of-animals shelf. (Informational picture book. 3-7)