All summer I’ll be sharing books for kids of all ages on topics that will interest them or offer them a new interest to learn about. Most of the time these will be nonfiction books, but sometimes we can learn from fictional stories too. I frequently learn from books sent during a historical period because usually the fictional story is based on real events.
So, I hope you will stay tuned to these posts. They will always have Summer Read-to-Learn in the title and in the tags. There will be books from some of my favorite publishers like National Geographic, Phaidon, Chronicle Kids, Prestel, and many others.
To see all the posts from my Summer Read-to-Learn series, click HERE.
HOW TO SPEAK ANIMAL
A Guide to Learning How Animals Communicate
By: Aubre Andrus & Dr. Gabby Wild DVM
Published: August 6, 2022
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Wouldn’t it be great if animals could talk or tell us what they were thinking? I would love to know what is going on in the mind of our cat, Stormy or our friend’s dog, Scout. Instead, we have to learn from their body language to know what they want to say. We know when our cat, Stormy wants her treat because she sits near her dish and meows. Scout, the dog, rolls onto his back when he wants his belly rubbed. But, what about animals we aren’t familiar with like a duck, spider, songbird, or frog?
This book is full of fun facts about 60 different animals and how they communicate with their environment. The animals are grouped by their habitats into four categories, Land, Water, Air, and With or Near Humans. Fun facts, wacky or unusual information and a few paragraphs of information about how the animals communicate are part of each animal’s page-spread.
Animals are mostly reactionary based when it comes to their communication either related to hunger or danger which made sense to me and usually communicate the same way each time, like our cat that sits by her bowl meowing. While humans have lots of ways that we communicate with other humans. You will find that animals use their senses to communicate either through hearing like birds chirping back and forth, touch, smell (a dog loves to smell while out for a walk), and visual. Symbols are used on each animal’s page to show what sense they use to communicate. A sloth uses hearing, smelling, and touch because they can’t see very far with their eyes.
As always, you’ll find excellent photography of each animal thanks to National Geographic amazing photographers. Kids will love the unusual facts and Dr Wild’s informational boxes from her own experience. Because this book has more reading, this is a great choice for older elementary and middle-grade readers, but younger readers will enjoy the photos and brief fact boxes.
AUBRE ANDRUS is an award-winning children’s book author with dozens of books published by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, American Girl, Disney, Scholastic, and more. She has also ghostwritten books for young YouTube stars. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family. Check out her website, HERE.
DR. GABBY WILD earned her bachelor of science and doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degrees at Cornell University. She completed her veterinary internship training at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Akron, Ohio, and received her Master’s of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Minnesota. She is a published genetics researcher and uses her research background to screen zoonotic disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people. To help maintain a healthy planet, she monitors herd and individual health for rising epidemics. Dr. Wild balances her Western medicine practices with traditional Chinese medicine in an effort to blend both methodologies. Acclaimed for her role as “the veterinarian” on Animal Jam, the world’s largest online “playground,” with 54 million players, she creates educational videos and teaches children internationally about wildlife conservation and medicine. When not in the wild, Gabby works as a Wildlife Health Program veterinarian for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo and is a training veterinary surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island. She lives in New York City. Check out her website, HERE.