ANIMAL LIFE by Martin Walters

ANIMAL LIFE

A Prentice Hall Illustrated Dictionary
Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A revision of the British The Illustrated Dictionary of Animal Life. Each of the 800 entries includes the part of speech, a brief definition, and a sentence using the term. A few--e.g., ``predator,'' ``dinosaur,'' and ``invertebrate''--receive full-page treatment; but, generally, much of the information given is too terse to be helpful. For example, potoos are ``nocturnal birds from Central and South America,'' but pottos are ``primates that live in the tropical forests of West Africa''; with only 200 illustrations in all here and few clues to size, habits, or relatives, readers might do better to consult an unabridged general dictionary. Moreover: scientific names are not provided; many definitions use several specialized terms in bold type that must be looked up elsewhere in the dictionary; some material is dated (e.g., apatosaurus is still ``brontosaurus''); and the editing is careless (the polar bear is ``the largest carnivore that lives on land,'' but ``the largest [bear] is the Alaskan brown bear''). The definition for insect also doesn't indicate that insects have three main body parts; and the world map of habitats seems to indicate that the US from Vermont to Florida is a temperate forest. Overall, there's too much focus on common names for particular species, many of them British and unfamiliar, and too little on concepts needed to understand animal life. Attractive format; seriously flawed content. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-13-681719-X
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1992