By: Christopher Lloyd
Illustrated by: Mark Ruffle
Published: October 10, 2019
Publisher: What on Earth Books
I grew up watching nature programs every Saturday, usually with my dad. My favorite one to tune into was Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom”. I loved learning about animals and even thinking how neat it was when the animals did things and had traits just like us. Author Christopher Lloyd agrees that animals are much like humans in many ways and came up with a word that helps us understand all the things animals and humans have in common…humanimal.
Many of the human-like qualities animals possessed, I knew. But there were several others I didn’t. I knew about the teamwork displayed by bees in a hive and how Canada geese will take turns being a leader in their v-formation long-distance flights. I hadn’t heard of the way Dusky farmerfish make sure they have plenty of the type of seaweed they eat by removing other types of seaweed from where their favorite plant grows. Much like how humans weed their own vegetable gardens.
From categories of community to feelings to intelligence, animals’ behaviors are discussed. Sometimes multiple animals will share similar traits in a certain category. For example, grief in baboons, orca whales, and elephants were all similar and they shared behaviors much like how humans grieve.
All the research has been done by scientists and their brief bios are shared at the end of the book. Maybe your child will become so interested that they will strive to become a marine biologist or a zoologist.
Even though this book has the look of a picture book, it is definitely written for older-elementary-aged readers. The images on the pages are muted in color but show the feelings or activities described in a realistic cartoon image. This is an excellent book to add to a science curriculum or to your own home library.
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