CM . . .
. Volume XVIII Number 1. . . .September 2, 2011
Originally published in France as Le grand livre animé des bébés animaux, Animal Babies is not a book about the young of various species of animals. Instead, Animal Babies provides an overview of the development of a number of different creatures that walk, fly or swim, from their conception to the end of their life span. Eighteen pairs of facing pages function as "chapters" with each pairing focussing on a different topic or theme.
After the first three pairings which deal with the period from conception through the creatures' births, the next two sets of pages focus on the immediate needs of the newly born, including food. "Animal Talk" describes various ways in which animals communicate with each other via using sounds or body language. Body coverings make up a portion of "Amazing Animals" while "Squeaky Clean!" examines some of the ways animals carry out their "ablutions." "The Five Senses" reveals how many animals' senses differ from humans' senses. Forms of locomotion are the stuff of "On the Move," and "Baby Beware" reveals how four different animals defend themselves from predators. "Just Like Adults" shows how young animals learn by imitating the actions of the adult animals around them, and "Growing Up" reveals some of the physical changes that occur in animals as they mature. "Moving Out" completes the cycle as the creatures now become capable of reproducing themselves. A vine of life spans, involving 11 critters, completes Animal Babies, with flies being shown to have the shortest life span (2 to 5 months) and elephants to have the longest life span (60 to 100 years) amongst this selected group.
Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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