Masters of Disguise: Amazing Animal Tricksters by Rebecca Johnson
(This review contains affiliate links.)
Red next to black, friend to Jack,
Red next to yellow will kill a fellow.
A few weeks ago, my six year old and I were talking about coral snakes, which led to a discussion of mimicry, which led us to the library. As you do. We borrowed Masters of Disguise: Amazing Animal Tricksters, and it has dominated our bedtime reading ever since.
After a quick explanation about different kinds of animal fakery, it introduces nine trickster animals and their secrets. There is a spider that creates a giant puppet version of itself, a moth that chirps to confuse bats’ echolocation, a bird that sneaks her eggs into another species’ nests, and so on.
For each animal, there is a little story about how it uses trickery to get its way, then a two-page explanation of the science behind the trick. These science sections each introduce the scientists who figured out how these animals succeed. A lot of the experiments are fascinating — how do you change the way an animal smells? How do you record the sounds ants make deep in their tunnels? It is a nice way to get a glimpse of the many kinds of scientists and ways to study animals.
Recommended for non-fiction lovers from 5-10.
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Source: My public library.
Laura Jewell is a mom to three young readers in Richardson. She was a children’s librarian at a public library before deciding to stay home with her girls.