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Animals move in an incredible variety of ways. Some fly. Some swim. Others swing from tree branches. This book looks at more than a dozen ways in which animals get around, and it shows how the body of each animal is equipped for its own form of travel. We see amazing adaptations, from the hairy bristles on the legs of a water beetle (which make the legs more effective as oars when the insect rows through the water), to the patagium, or flap of skin, on each side of a flying squirrel's body (which enables the animal to glide from tree to tree). Readers are bound to learn something new from this book, whether or not they are familiar with all the animals in it. (They probably aren't--do you know what a basilisk is.) For example, both frogs and kangaroos have strong hind legs that are longer than their front ones, and both animals use those long hind legs to hop. But frogs land on their front legs, so they have to stop between leaps; kangaroos land on their hind legs, and so they don't have to pause. The book would benefit from a more extensive glossary, but even so, it is a welcome addition to the Science of Living Things series. Don't be surprised when your little readers start to hop, squirm and wriggle around the house, trying out new forms of locomotion.
Joan Silberlicht Epstein --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.