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review 2014-12-24 00:00
Hall of Small Mammals: Stories
Hall of Small Mammals: Stories - Thomas Pierce I got this through the First to Read program.

Pierce seems to excel in telling the middle of stories. And his beginnings are pretty good. The ends, well, are left entirely off in some cases. Maybe there's something artistic to that. Some statement that life always continues on, that there is no end to our stories until death. But in a few of these stories it just felt lazy. I guess I felt that most strongly about the very first story in the collection, about a mini mammoth resurrected from the long ago, and returned to it in the subset of stories that confirmed that conclusion.

But there are several stories in here that I felt were really well done. The one I felt was most poignant was a story of a father and his son in an organization that was a parody of boy scouts, or some related organization. Both father and son are looking to belong to something, and it was a well-told, well-constructed story. I loved it.

Many of the stories are about fathers and sons of various stripes, making this collection more about family than it is about small mammals. The title story involves a man interacting with his girlfriend's son, an odd, uncomfortable relationship he's trying to work out (and ultimately fails). The theme of fathers and sons was, I felt, the strongest, and the work shone best when it centered on this theme. The first story that I disliked was about a mother and son, so really not that far from the theme, but the relationship part of the story was what worked best about the story. The details of the plot were what I objected to. But the family, in all of its complication, works.

In the end, I enjoyed this collection and the themes within it. It's a collection, so naturally I liked some stories better than others. It was uneven, but the best stories were really touching and thought-provoking, and I loved them.
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review 2014-07-31 00:00
Discover Mammals - Fun Facts For Kids
Discover Mammals - Fun Facts For Kids - Rose Alden Discover Mammals is a short, educational introduction to mammals for kids.

This isn't a very in-depth look at mammals, but the book's targeted to younger children, so it works.

It covers the basics of what makes a mammal (hair, births live young, produces milk), goes over the difference between carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores, and gives a brief comparison between mammals and the other kingdoms. It even mentions the exception to the live young rule, in platypuses and echidnas.

...and my auto-correct is trying to change "echidnas" to "enchiladas". I'm pretty sure enchiladas aren't mammals.

Although I am pretty sure they're herbivores, since they're usually shown with vegetables nearby.


[A pair of enchiladas, seen in their natural habitat.]
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review 2013-07-24 00:00
Classifying Mammals - Andrew Solway This review is for the whole series.

These books have been the backbone of my classification of animals unit for the last two years. They're structured beautifully, beginning with the taxonomy chart, and then showing the breakdown of the various orders within each class.

The rest of the book then takes a closer look at each of the orders and what makes them different from the other animals in that class.

Plus the pictures are lovely and frequently come with captions containing fun or interesting facts.

Delightful series.
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review 2013-03-05 00:00
Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico
A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico - Fiona A. Reid An incredibly useful guide during my trip to Nicaragua and I recommend it highly.
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review 2012-07-16 00:00
When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight: A Cartoon PreHistory of Life in the Triassic
When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight: A Cartoon PreHistory of Life in the Triassic - Hannah Bonner An entertaining, informative book for young fans of all things prehistoric.
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