Why Don’t Fish Drown (and other vital questions about the animal kingdom)

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Children love to ask questions nonstop, so this new and colorful picture book by Anna Clayborne called Why Don’t Fish Drown? should be a welcome addition to the family library. It covers just about every head-scratching, thought-provoking and even somewhat-silly question our child could ever ask about natural history and animals in the animal kingdom.

The book opens with answers to questions about just what purpose mosquitoes serve (p. 15), why animals don’t have to brush their teeth (p. 40), and a true mystery — why cats like to lick their own butts (p. 43). Readers discover who gets to pick animal names (p. 8), why fish don’t have eyelids (p. 51), and even why humans don’t have tail (p. 16). By the way, humans DO have tails…but you’ll have to read the book to find out more.

This oversized hardback book is not only fun, it is also very informative and answers questions about everything from the wisdom of humans making friends with cobras (p. 32) to which animals sleep on the job (Swifts, a species of bird that flies high enough in the air that it can sleep while it glides! p. 59).

Ms. Clayborne’s prose is funny and easy to read. The book’s illustrations include a blend of realistic photos of bees, insects and other animals, and sketches by artist Claire Goble that are bright, colorful and “smile-worthy.” The characters and animals’ round, curious eyes, large heads and skinny legs render them kid-friendly in every way.

Great for use as a supplemental text in the early elementary and middle grade classrooms. Use for budding environmentalists, animal lovers, and for studying about Earth’s various ecosystems.

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