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“A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.”
Summary: Welcome! Parents are always so proud to introduce their new baby to the world ... and animals are no exception. In this book you'll find cleverly worded birth announcements for animals of the sea, air, and land. This is a book of twelve riddles about animals kids know and love.
Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Reading Level: 3.7
Age of Child: Shared with a Kindergarten class of 5- and 6-year-olds.
Young Reader Reaction: The kids had fun putting together the clues to guess the baby animal. And of course they loved the name Mrs. P.U. Smell!
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a wonderfully clever book. There is plenty of double entendre to cause an adult to giggle. I was surprised how quickly they guessed the animals. Each riddle has clues, but none is an out-and-out give-away (at least for a Kindergartner).
Pros: Kids will love this engaging picture book that lets them do the thinking and guessing about animals. In addition to the riddle vignettes, there are more details about each species in the back.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. The book is clever, and even when the kids know the answer, they will still want to come back to it. You can also add to the fun by creating games from the information (e.g., organize a calendar, line them up by size, weight, height, etc.).
Educational Themes: The main part of the book offers information about animals. You can expand the learning by going back over the illustrations to talk about the animal's habitat, or use the added details in the back. There are also opportunities to build on math (numbers, size) and calendar.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, nature, animal characters, math
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2008
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.