Tooling Around: Crafty Creatures and the Tools They Use

Ellen Jackson, illus. by Renné Benoit. Charlesbridge, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-564-4
Upbeat, if somewhat corny rhymes help introduce ways in which 11 wild animals utilize tools. Subjects include a crow that bends a piece of wire to reach an object, otters that use rocks to smash open shellfish, and dolphins that use sea sponges to catch fish: “Dolphins choose a cone-shaped sponge,/ wrap their beaks, then fish and lunge.” Longer prose passages elaborate on each animal’s activity: “Elephants strip leaves from branches,” writes Jackson. “They use the stripped branches to swat flies or other insects that bite them.” Benoit’s mixed-media illustrations fall between naturalistic and cozy, creating an accessible entry point to learning about animal behavior. An author’s note provides additional background on animals’ tool use and the habitats of the featured animals. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/04/2014
Release date: 09/09/2014
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-58089-565-1
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