Tooth by Tooth: Comparing Fangs, Tusks, and Chompers
by Sara Levine; Illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth
Millbrook Press (January 1, 2016)
Nonfiction * Mammals * Comparative Anatomy
Audience: Kinder to Grade 4
Indiebound | Worldcat
About the book: What animal would you be if a few of your teeth grew so long that they stuck out of your mouth even when it was closed? What would you be if your top canine teeth grew almost all the way down to your feet? This picture book will keep you guessing as you read about how human teeth are like—and unlike—those of other animals.
Quick thoughts on this book: In her first book, Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons, Levine uses humor and comparison to show readers what it would be like if they had similar bone structure to particular animals. I really enjoyed the book and was thrilled to know she would be doing another book. Once again, Levine combines humor, questions, and comparison to explore the three types of teeth found in mammals and how they vary depending on the animal's diet. I never really thought about the fact that mammals were the only ones to have three different types of teeth. Resources at the end provide readers with a glossary and further options for learning more.
About the book:
In the animal kingdom, survival is the name of the game—and not everything is as it seems. A number of animals rely on particularly clever tricks to fool predators or prey. A baby bird mimics a poisonous caterpillar. A moth escapes bats by making sounds that interfere with the bats' echolocation. A tiny rain forest spider builds a big spider "puppet" out of bits of dead leaves, insect parts, and other items. Find out more about some of nature's most bizarre and bloodthirsty con artists and meet the scientists who are working to figure out just how they pull off their amazing tricks.
Quick thoughts on this book: Similar in style to Johnson's Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead and When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses , Masters of Disguise: Amazing Animal Tricksters provides readers with interesting facts about nine different insects, spiders, birds, and fish and how they camouflage themselves in order to have a greater chance at survival. In addition, readers learn the science behind these cool ways that animals can conceal themselves. Short chapters, engaging text, fascinating subject all combine to draw in readers and keep them reading. Endnotes include "meet the scientists", glossary, select bibliography, and more to explore. The two videos included below are listed in the resource section of the book and were fun to watch. They would be great for sharing with students to spike further interest in the book.
Some videos to check out as mentioned in the resources at the end of the book:
Ant-killing assassin bugs:
First Video of New Species Spider:
In addition to both of these books being fun reads, each one would make excellent read alouds for classroom teachers looking for nonfiction read alouds. Both books will be huge hits in classroom and school libraries and it may be wise to have a copy in both the classroom and the library. In addition to picking up both of these titles, keep an eye out for the other books mentioned in the post. All are definite must have books.
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