cover image Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive!

Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive!

Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson, illus. by Lisa K. Weber. Walden Pond, $17.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-06-241879-1

Each chapter of this highly entertaining volume, first in a series, recounts three hard-to-believe stories that revolve around plants, animals, or humans. But only two of them are true, leaving it to readers to identify the invented one. In one example, the choices include a tree-dwelling octopus, a headless chicken, or tiny, cave-dwelling dragons. Spoiler alert: there’s no such thing as a tree octopus, though the authors’ description of it is persuasive (“In the early 2000s, the tree octopus was on the verge of extinction, but a strong grassroots campaign by dedicated Pacific Northwest communities helped reverse that”). Color infographics and photographs—some real, others fabricated—blur the truth further (one photo in the aforementioned chapter shows a bald eagle in flight, with an octopus in its talons). Readers can also have fun finding the false entries in 10-item lists of dinosaur names, diseases, body parts, and more. The authors’ casual tone should easily draw readers in, and activities at the end of each chapter underscore a key goal underneath all the fun: developing critical thinking skills. Ages 8–12. Authors’ agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary. (June)