Title: First Encyclopedia of AnimalsFirst Encyclopedia of Animals
Author: Paul Dowsell & Gillian Doherty
Pages: 64
Reading Level: 7-10
Star Rating: ★★★

A small softcover ‘encyclopedia’, the First Encyclopedia relates elementary facts concerning mammals, reptiles, and insects. While encyclopedia are usually known for being comprehensive, if not exhausted, First Encyclopedia is skimps over information, choosing what are considered to be the most essential facts of a few creatures.

Here are a few of the more interesting facts included.

  • Prairie dogs live in burrows in large family groups. When they meet, they sniff each other to tell whether the other is from the same family.
  • In the right conditions, crocodiles can live for over 100 years!
  • Elephants look after their young longer than any other animal – up to ten years!
  • Flamingos get their color from the pink shrimp and other small animals that they eat. If they did not eat this food, they would be a dull yellowy-brown.
  • Some fish lay up to 200,000 eggs at a time!
  • A sawfly larva feeds on pine needles, which contain a sticky liquid called resin. If the larva is attacked, it can also use the resin as a weapon!
  • Pythons lay about 100 eggs at a time!
  • A cardinal fish keeps its eggs safe by hiding them in its mouth. It doesn’t feed while carrying the eggs, which may take up to a month to hatch. If it is disturbed or frightened, it may swallow all the eggs!

Cautions.

Pages 30-31 discuss how different male birds attempt to attract females. Nothing graphic. Page 45 shows two millipedes ‘mating’ – their upper bodies are wrapped around each other, nothing more.

Humans are referred to several times as animals / mammals.

Conclusion. Good, but not amazing.

Note: My copy of First Encyclopedia of Animals is missing the first few pages. I have no clue what occurs on these pages.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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