________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 3 . . . . October 1, 2004


Animals and Their Mates: How Animals Attract, Fight for and Protect Each Other. (Animal Behaviour series).

Pamela Hickman. Illustrated by Pat Stephens.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2004.
40 pp., pbk. & cl., $6.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55337-546-7 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55337-545-9 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Courtship of animals-Juvenile literature.
Sexual behavior in animals-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Gillian Richardson.

*** /4


You might meet your friends at school or the mall. Wild animals also have meeting places, particularly during mating season.

Red-eyed tree frogs mate 9 m (30 ft) off the ground in trees in tropical jungles. When a male finds a female, he climbs onto her back and she carries him to a special place for mating - a leaf that overhangs some water. She lays her eggs on the leaf and he immediately fertilizes them with his sperm. Within a couple of days, the tiny tadpoles hatch and drop into the water below where they develop into frogs.


The author/illustrator team of Pamela Hickman and Pat Stephens continue to produce appealing nature books on various aspects of animal behaviour. Animals and Their Mates describes how animals locate a mate, either by attracting one with sensory signals or by gathering in a large group for breeding. It details the way some animals fight to get or keep a mate and the length of their partnership. Season and age play a role in mating, as does the location of the breeding place. Each section of the book is introduced with a single species focus and insert that has become characteristic of this series: "If you were a........" lists several specific habits that illustrate the rationale for the chapter. Additional species examples extend the explanation. The Index will be useful for beginning researchers as it includes both species names and concepts that are covered in the text.

internal art     Illustrations are colourful, large, accurate and detailed. Labels or captions will aid the reader in identifying new species such as the false map turtle and scorpion fly. Exceptions to the normal mating and nesting habits of an animal group are illustrated and described in text boxes: eg. the great horned owl's mating season is early winter, unlike most northern hemisphere birds. The layout is attractive, with plenty of colour on every page and the text in inviting, readable chunks under clear subheadings to assist younger readers.

     Librarians will welcome this easy-to-read volume as an addition to their collections on specific animal behaviours.


Living in BC, Gillian Richardson is a freelance writer and former teacher-librarian.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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