Wild and Pet Puppies.


24 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 978-0-7787-3976-0
DDC j599.77'139




Reviewed by Aileen Wortley


These latest four offerings in Crabtree’s It’s Fun to Learn About Baby Animals series describe the life of a reptile, insect, amphibian, and mammal, respectively. The other volumes in this 10-volume series are Baby Apes, Baby Bears, Baby Birds, Baby Cats, Baby Deer, and Baby Horses.


In Baby Reptiles, a variety of reptiles and their characteristics are described. Shedding, moulting, and keeping warm are dealt with, and the life cycle of a skink is described. Covering such a wide range of reptiles, including alligators, crocodiles, skinks, tortoises, turtles, lizards, geckos, and snakes, the book is not able to do real justice to any in the few words allotted.


Caterpillars to Butterflies explains simply but quite fully the definition of an insect and why a butterfly is one. The reader learns how to distinguish butterflies from moths, follows their miraculous life cycle, and is shown the wide range of adaptations they use to protect themselves from their enemies.


Tadpole to Frogs titillates with the information that there are more than 4,000 varieties of frogs, but just a few are mentioned. The term amphibians is defined, and adaptations to their environment are shown in terms of their physical structure. The majority of the book is devoted to the ever-fascinating process of metamorphosis from tadpole to frog. The difference between frogs and toads is discussed.


In Wild and Pet Puppies, the term mammal is defined and the reader is then introduced to a variety of different wild dogs (dingoes, red foxes, African wild dogs, wolves, coyotes, and jackals). A further chapter discusses pet puppies, and another, the responsibilities of ownership. Information on physical attributes, eating habits, habitat, life cycle, and communication is also featured.


Each book follows a prescribed, too neat formula, given that information in general cannot be so easily compartmentalized. The titles contain a content page and an illustrated index-cum-glossary. The 24 pages of text, photographs, and drawings are divided into 10 two-page chapters.


It is the visuals in these books that are captivating. Charming photos of cute baby wildlife are hard to resist, and the overall layout is an opulent feast for the eye. Nuggets of information are easily absorbed, presented with many cues such as bold captions, key word bolding, and informative captions. The external appeal of these attractively created books for young animal lovers is endorsed by the fact that earlier titles circulate well in public libraries. However, the very basic information provided is often too general to assist children searching for specific information and therefore the factual content does not live up to the promise of the visuals. Recommended with reservations.


Kalman, Bobbie., “Wild and Pet Puppies.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 20, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/29092.