________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 35. . . .May 14, 2010

cover

Animal Snoops: The Wondrous World of Wildlife Spies.

Peter Christie. Illustrated by Cat MacInnes.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2010.
72 pp., pbk. & hc., $11.95 (pbk.), $21.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-216-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-217-1 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Animal intelligence.
Animal behavior.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Christine Torchia.

*** /4

   

excerpt:

Animal messages are often detected by audiences that were not meant to get wind of them. Hungry gopher snakes, for example, use foot-drumming signals between kangaroo rats to locate a snaky snack. Female chickadees listen in on singing contests of territorial males when choosing a mate.

Biologists call it eavesdropping. It sounds sneaky, but it works well. And some animals are doubly sneaky, changing their behavior when they expect to be overheard. The animal communication network is far more complicated than researchers used to believe.

The Stakes in wild spy games are high.

Eavesdropping can determine whether animals mate, find a home, or enjoy a sneaky life instead of meeting sudden death. It can reveal whom they should trust and even effect the evolution of songs and signals. Naturally clever secret agents learn things from snooping that help them survive and pass their genes to the next generation. It`s one more tool that crafty creatures use to understand the world around them.

 

Cleverly written to entice young readers, Animal Snoops looks at the scientific world of animals. From a robin's sneaky listening skills helping him steal away a mate to grey squirrels' outsmarting rival jays for food, animals are detectives in their own habitats. Animal Snoops is filled with colourful animal photographs and amusing illustrations, and the pictures will draw in the young reader. The book makes a fun and educational addition to any classroom. While Animal Snoops is a great resource for teachers, stronger readers will enjoy the fascinating facts this book has to offer. Animal Snoops is organized into six chapters which are set up to look like spy case files. The book also includes two mini-stories, one at the beginning and one at the end of the book. The book concludes with further reading suggestions, a bibliography, index, photo credits and acknowledgments. Peter Christie, the author, has been fascinated by unusual animal habits and has written other animal fact books as well as articles for magazines and newspapers.

Recommended.

Christine Torchia is an Early Childhood Educator / Educational Assistant and mother of two elementary school children in Winnipeg, MB.

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

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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