Book of Bones: 10 Record-Breaking Animals

illus. by Sam Brewster. 48p. glossary. Phaidon. Sept. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780714875125.
Gr 2–4—A select menu of 10 disparate species has been selected for this oversize skeletal feast. The biggest, the fewest, the spikiest, the thinnest—all appear in stark white against inky black pages, with a colorful "Who Am I?" at the bottom, enticing readers to guess. Helpfully, the opposite page contains a paragraph of facts narrated by the critter in question, with three lifestyle clues thrown in to aim readers in the right direction. Turn the page (after guessing—no cheating!) to a colorful depiction of the living creature in its natural habitat, with another chatty paragraph of facts for the curious of mind. The blue whale, the reticulated giraffe, and the African bush elephant are among the usual suspects, but also included are such surprises as the Etruscan shrew, the peregrine falcon, and the great hammerhead shark. (Thrown in as a bonus is a page of a human skeleton for comparison.) Team this with Steve Jenkins's nifty Bones: Skeletons and How They Work and Rob Colson's attractive Bone Collection: Animals for a handsome trip to the boneyard.
VERDICT Fun for the home-schooled, and an interesting approach to animal interiors for classroom teachers.

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