A look at ears joins Holland’s other books on animal eyes, legs, mouths, and tails.
Animals use their ears for all sorts of things. They listen for predators and prey, use them to communicate with one another, listen for their mates, and locate sounds. Like humans, some creatures have external parts to their ears; others are internal or in unexpected places: a katydid’s are on its legs, and a praying mantis has only one, and it’s under its body between its front legs. Bats use their ears for echolocation; beavers’ ears have special flaps that close when they dive underwater; rabbits and cats can rotate their ears separately to listen to sounds from different directions; and frogs’ eardrums are visible on the sides of their heads. Backmatter provides more information about animal ears as well as a complex (and, sadly, unillustrated) explanation of how ears hear. Unusual for books from this publisher, there is only one actual activity: matching four animal pictures to close-ups of their ears. The gorgeous close-up photography that occupies two-thirds of every double-page spread is the big draw, though readers will still wish that some came with arrows pointing out the ears. Children who are paying attention will immediately ask a question after reading or hearing the first sentence, and adult partners will want to be prepared, especially since the answer is a bit complicated: “Most animals have ears”; which do not is the obvious question. Las orejas de los animales, a Spanish-language companion, publishes simultaneously.
A fascinating look at animals’ varied ears. (Nonfiction. 3-7)