Holland continues her series on animal anatomy and adaptations with this look at the evidence animals leave behind.
The opening spread may mislead readers into thinking this is a book only about nocturnal animals, but many of the animals, not just their tracks and scat, can be spied during the day. Holland focuses on helping children both notice evidence of animals’ activities and learn a bit about the animal based on that evidence. Spot a track in mud or snow? Count the number of toes to get a clue as to who made it, and the toes will point in the direction of travel. Vertical grooves in the bark of a tree may indicate that moose have been feeding there. You can identify an animal by its “poop,” or “scat,” and many use “pee” to mark their territory. You may be able to spot animals’ homes—beaver lodges and birds’ nests. Holland’s photos are, once again, a highlight, though a few are low-contrast and may be difficult to parse. Backmatter includes some matching activities and a few more signs of animals’ activities, several of which are fascinating enough to have warranted pages of their own. Readers will need a guidebook in many instances to make a positive ID.
Readers will want to head directly out to search for clues. (Nonfiction. 3-9)