Thursday, March 19, 2009

Benny's Animals

Benny's Animals
Millicent E. Selsam ~ Arnold Lobel ~ Harper & Row, 1966

Since delving into the SCIENCE I CAN READ series, I've fallen in love with Millicent E. Selsam. To have written such great books on the animal kingdom and work with such wonderful illustrators... just pure bliss. And Lobel pops up everywhere... either playing second fiddle to the author as in this case... or running the show with the likes of Frog and Toad. (Which, by the way, we were reading to my son in a Thai restaurant a few weeks ago and a man sitting next to us nearly burst into tears when he heard what we were reading... childhood memories run deep friends...)Another case of a children's book teaching me bunches of things I didn't know.
Who knew that animal classification starts with whether or not an animal has a backbone? (OK, don't answer that, I obviously rode the short bus.)

About fifty million years ago there was an animal that lived in the forest. It had a long body like a weasel. It had a head like a fox. It had a long tail. It had sharp claws and teeth. From that kind of animal came lions, tigers, and leopards, as well as small wildcats and house cats. All these animals are relatives.

The way the book goes down with two curious little boys wondering what animals belong together and turning to a professor who helps them break it down group by group is so cool. I love it when books show curious kids exploring something for the first time. Makes me hate Google a little bit for the ease of information our tykes have. But, the more the merrier, I suppose. Who ever said too much information was bad? Oh, yea... me, I guess.

Also by:
Seeds and More Seeds
Plenty of Fish
How To Be A Nature Detective
The Terrible Tiger
Red Tag Comes Back
Oscar Otter
The Star Thief
Mouse Tales
Prince Bertram the Bad
The Secret Three
Miss Suzy
Martha the Movie Mouse
Terry and the Caterpillars
The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck
Ice Cream Cone Coot


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