Wednesday, July 11, 2018

In the Beginning! Meet My Family (Animal Babies and Their Families) Laura Purdie Salas

All families are different. But in one way, they are all the same. They are all devoted to doing whatever they can do to help their babies thrive.

The ways they do that can be different. There's a world of difference between the much-made-over baby elephant, cared for by its mother, grandmother, older sisters, and aunts, and the poison dart frog tadpole carried solo on its father's back into the nearest puddle of water, but animal parents do what they have to do.

"I'm in charge of all my meals. I graze for grasses, just like all the elders do," says the rhino calf.

"I have to climb over all my brothers and sisters just to get dinner," says one little piglet.

"I'm the only kid around. Having Mama to myself is great, but I sure would like someone to race with," a young horse foal complains.

Baby orangutans are only children, cradled and carried by their mothers into the treetops and fed her milk until they are able to climb and pick their own fruit, but baby sea turtle hatchlings crawl from the sandy nests their mothers carefully dug on shore and make a dash for the sea all by their lonesome. But, then, parent albatrosses play tag team on twelve hour shifts so that their chick is always guarded.

Every family is different. Each family is just right.

Mother (or Father) Nature knows best, in Laura Purdie Salas' Meet My Family!: Animal Babies and Their Families (Millbrook Press, 2018). Author Salas juxtaposes many styles of parenting among the many forms of animal life in the world. Familiar domestic animals and wild animals, as well as some less well-known species are featured as their parent's version of child care are showcased with the soft and charming illustrations of artist Stephanie F. Coleman. It's a big, wide, and wonderful world of parenting out there, and this nonfiction book, with its ample contrasts of care is a fine source for nature study for young naturalists. With its ample glossary and world map of animal homes, this one is good for one-to-one sharing or early-grade animal science study. Says School Library Journal, "A pleasing choice for young nonfiction enthusiasts that belongs on most elementary shelves."

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