Dear axolotl: Why do you have feathers growing out of your head? Axolotl: They aren't feathers—they're gills! They let me breathe underwater.
Let's face it. Even as babies, we humans pay close attention to faces. Observing another person's features and expressions tells us whether they are happy, angry, excited, or sad. And when we look at an animal, it's hard not to imagine that its face is communicating human feelings. This isn't true, of course. Squinty eyes, an upturned mouth, or another odd expression is probably there because, in some way, it helps that animal survive. Packed with many cool facts and visuals on where certain animals live and what they eat, this book captures twenty-five humorous—and very true—explanations of why animals look the way they do in order to exist in this world.
As always, artistry and zoology are intrinsic parts of Jenkins's and Page's latest animal-themed collaboration. Tongue-in-cheek questions ("Dear axolotl: Why do you have feathers growing out of your head?") address the anatomy and physiology of 25 unusual-looking species. In response, the pink salamander explains, "Those aren't feathers they're gills. They let me breathe underwater." Other subjects include the mole rat ("Have you ever thought about getting braces?"), sun bear, and blobfish ("What on earth happened to you?"). Jenkins's torn-paper creations emphasize the idea of interspecies dialogue readers stare face to face with the animals, who happily divulge what makes them special. Ages 4 8.
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Creature Features by Steve Jenkins
This children's book tackles some interesting animal phenotypes. I found it interesting, but it might have been useful to decrease the number of animals and include pictures of the whole animal in its habitat.