The Animal Toolkit: How Animals Use Tools by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Published by Clarion Books

Summary:  The introduction defines a tool as “an object that an animal manipulates and uses to affect its environment, another animal, or itself.”  Many of us probably know that certain kinds of apes and monkeys use tools, but what about the corolla spider that uses stones to build its web, or the bottlenose dolphin that catches fish in a shell?  Or, creepily, the black kite that will carry a burning stick from a wildfire to start a fire in another area to flush out prey (I wish I could unsee the cute quorra fleeing the flames).  Each page has a cut paper illustration with a brief paragraph of information; additional information on each animal is provided at the end, along with a bibliography.  32 pages; grades K-5.

Pros:  By now you know of my deep and abiding love for all things Steve Jenkins (and Robin Page for that matter), and here you have another fascinating book to wow elementary kids.

Cons:  Still experiencing grief and denial over the fact that Steve Jenkins passed away earlier this year.

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