Amazing Things Animals Do


127 pages
ISBN 1-894379-57-8
DDC j591.5





Illustrations by Romi Caron
Reviewed by Sandy Campbell

Sandy Campbell is a reference librarian in the Science and Technology Library at the University of Alberta.


The “amazing things that animals do” are behaviours that are closer
to human behaviour than the less complex “law of the jungle.” For
example, petrels and tuataras share the same nest hole. While tuataras
eat birds’ eggs and baby birds, they don’t eat the ones in the nest
they inhabit.

In describing these amazing behaviours, Marilyn Baillie avoids the trap
of slipping into anthropomorphization, or giving the animals human
qualities and emotions. She achieves a balance between scientific
accuracy and engaging the child by using human terms to describe an
observed animal behaviour. For example, “the leopard catches her
supper” rather than her “prey.”

Each animal is described in two paragraphs of text with a drawing and a
small photograph on one page and a full-page drawing on the facing page.
The drawings are accurate representations of the animals and the
behaviours being described. A “Who’s Who” section at the end of
the book duplicates the 48 small photographs and includes a short
factual description of the animal that adds detail not found in the

Overall, this is a book that both entertains and educates. Recommended.


Baillie, Marilyn., “Amazing Things Animals Do,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024,