CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 1 . . . . September 6, 2002
This most recent addition to the "Animal Behaviour Series" from Kids Can Press, Animal Talk, will help young readers discover the remarkable world of animal communication. They will be fascinated as they read how animals not only use sound and body language to send messages but other unique methods as well. Communicating through changing colour, waving, dancing, vibrating, the sense of smell and flashing lights are some of the extraordinary ways discussed in this book. An interesting variety of animals, such as howler monkeys, honeybees, flashlight fish, elephants and dolphins, will capture the curiosity of readers of all ages.
Children's author, Etta Kaner, has written other science books, including Animal Defenses, Animals at Work and Bridges. A former elementary teacher, Kaner uses a clear, easy-to-read style with age-appropriate vocabulary. Features such as a table of contents, an index and labeled and captioned pictures facilitate student research. The inclusion of a glossary would have been helpful. The activities "Waving tails" and "Communicate with vibes" engage the reader in active participation of the concept being explored. The "If you were" text boxes provide interesting communication facts about specific animals.
In his first book, illustrator Greg Douglas has complemented the text with large, colourful pictures. Other pictures or photographs showing the animals in the process of communicating would be a useful addition. Animal Talk will provide some introductory information to young readers on animal communication. Its engaging format will entice children to ask further questions on this topic.
Janice Foster is a teacher-librarian and enrichment facilitator at Oakenwald School in Winnipeg, MB.
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