Thursday, October 15, 2015

Skulls - Mike Artell

Summary:  An incredibly cool, close-up look at the skulls of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. Dozens of Images of animals (including their scientific name), fun facts, jokes, wordplay and off-the-word, fascinating trivia related to each animal. Plus, there's a "match the skull" quiz at the end of the book and some links for related web sites. Your young scientist is going to love this book! (Summary and image from  I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.)

Review:  With three junior scientists in the house, I can't ever have enough science books.  It's just a fact - even though we've spent the summer in the library, and even though they've lived in the nonfiction section, there's just never enough.

Mike Artell has put together a fun book for those interested in animals.  Along with each picture of the animal's skull is a photograph of the living animal and a page of facts.  To be honest, I was fascinated by the skulls of the animals alone.  They're stunning.  It took some imagination, even with the living example next to it, to see how it belonged to the animal it had -- but I loved it.  Aren't bodies fascinating?  It's the kind of book you can breeze through in a short period of time, or you can just as easily use the guide as a reference jumping off point.

Just to give you an indicator of how the target audience responds to the book, I opened it in the car as we were heading out for the day.  Within seconds, I had three voices crying "Mine!"  "No, clearly that's for me!" "I want it!"  Clearly, taking turns is a concept we need to continue to review.  Sigh.  I'm happy to report that they've all gotten a turn and the only battle we have now is which child is the lucky one whose bookshelf will house this book.

Perhaps because it's my favorite time of the year, but this would be an excellent book to put in a classroom library.  For homeschoolers out there, I'd consider this invaluable!

Rating:  Four stars -- I wish it were longer

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