Monday, February 11, 2019

Book of Bones: 10 Record-Breaking Animals by Gabrielle Balkan, illustrated by Sam Brewster

I read this twice before I figured out the secret of the textures on the animals! In other words, this book has surprises.

The oversize book offers the skeletons of 10 animals. The first spread lists facts about the animal and its skeleton, then a picture of the skeleton. This spread is in black and white with a light dusting of color. Readers can guess the animal before turning the page to a colorful spread showing the animal, its skeleton raised in light texture against its body. This picture is accompanied by a brief narrative. With a bright light the skeleton will show up through the page - it matches the skeleton on the reverse side. It's not glow-in-the-dark though, even though it feels like it!

The animals profiled include a blue whale (biggest bone), Etruscan shrew (smallest bone), reticulated python (most bones), giraffe, elephant, peregrine falcon (lightest bones), bumblebee bat (thinnest bones), Alaska moose (fastest-growing bone), regal horned lizard (spikiest bone), great hammerhead shark (fewest bones), and the special bones of a human.

An afterword from the author explains how they chose the different animals, the relative sizes and weights of bone, and how science changes as scientists discover new things. There is also a list of further reading "at the library" and online and a glossary.

Verdict: A fascinating and beautifully created look at skeletons - perfect for a non-scary storytime at Halloween or for poring over any time of the year. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780714875125; Published September 2017 by Phaidon; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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