In his fourth book exploring “seriously funny facts about your favorite animals,” Eaton delivers “tons of information” about elephants.
Each spread provides essential and engaging facts on subtopics such as habitat, anatomy, diet, family structure, and behavior. One particularly effective spread shows the physiological differences between Asian elephants and African elephants, using arrows to point out differences between their trunks, toenails, ears, backs, and heads. With levity that never feels flippant, Eaton acknowledges that elephants’ “biggest threat wears shoes” and devotes a spread to the many different ways humans threaten elephants’ survival. The next spread encourages readers to consider ways that they can effect change: “The threats are enormous, but you can begin to help by reading about elephants, and then teaching others and speaking out. / Because elephants are worth it!” Excellent pacing and design result in a compelling read enhanced by digitally colored pen-and-ink cartoon illustrations filled with bold lines and bright colors. Talking animals and a brown-skinned child with a curly black ponytail provide light commentary on the facts presented in the main text, and readers may particularly enjoy the jazz (and joke) trio made up of the elephant’s closest living relatives. The final spread contains a dossier of illustrated photographs and notes and a list of additional resources for “calves” and “cows and bulls.”
Like the rest of the series, charming, informative, and effective. (Informational picture book. 4-9)