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What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? (Caldecott Honor Book) Hardcover – March 25, 2003


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What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? (Caldecott Honor Book) + Actual Size (Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award (Awards)) + Biggest, Strongest, Fastest
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Series: Caldecott Honor Book
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (March 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618256288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618256280
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-Jenkins, this time in collaboration with his wife, has created yet another eye-opening book. Children will learn that lizards can completely break off their tail as a defense and that it will grow back. And, they'll find out that crickets' ears are on their knees. Most fish have two eyes, but some have four, the better to see above and below the water at the same time. These are just a few of the fascinating facts of nature dangled out front to draw readers into this beautifully illustrated book. On each spread, five different animals' tails, ears, eyes, or other body parts, done in vibrant cut-paper collage, appear with a simple question ("What do you do with a- like this?"). The next spread shows the five creatures in their entirety and offers a brief explanation. For example, "If you're an elephant, you use your nose to give yourself a bath." The back pages offer more information for older or more curious readers. This is a great book for sharing one-on-one or with a group.
Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Huntsville, AL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 2. Here's another exceptional cut-paper science book from Jenkins, this time put together with a partner, and like previous books, it's a stunner. An opening page, clearly explaining how to use the book, is followed by a double-page spread picturing the mouths of several different animals, accompanied by the question, "What do you do with a mouth like this?" The next spread shows each animal in full, explaining in a few simple words how the part functions. Tail, ears, nose, and eyes are covered in the same manner. A picture glossary at the back shows each animal again, postage-stamp size, with an informative note elaborating on the creature's special adaptation. The notes also neatly answer questions that might arise during a reading (Why do horned lizards squirt blood out their eyes?) and add to the interactive aspect of the book. A variety of animals is represented--some (elephant, hippo, chimp) will be comfortably familiar; others (four-eyed fish, blue-footed booby) are of interest because of their strangeness. Jenkins' handsome paper-cut collages are both lovely and anatomically informative, and their white background helps emphasize the particular feature, be it the bush baby's lustrous, liquid-brown eyes or the skunk's fuzzy tail. This is a striking, thoughtfully created book with intriguing facts made more memorable through dynamic art. Tim Arnold
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

My 3 year old granddaughter loved it.
NYM
If you have a curious little one at home who loves to learn about new things this will be a great book for them to read.
A. Ehler
It's a clever book and we've had a lot of fun with it.
Tropical Artist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is breathtaking, a real stand-out visually -- and at the same time grippingly educational and fun for kids. If you want to see that dawning light of curiousity and hunger for understanding in a child that's just learning that it's fun to learn, there's no better book than this one.

The animals are rendered with great richness and depth by (if you look closely) beautiful torn-paper collages. It's so skillfully done by Steve Jenkins that all of the creatures are full of personality, and seem to live in a batik-cartoon world.

The riveting part is how there are so many animals that each have unusual stories revealed through fun and different and interesting body parts. This is not a "first animals" book at all. Rather it gains its fascination by showing how animals make so many different uses of their body parts, uses that go against what you first think.

For instance: A platypus uses its nose "to dig in the mud." But "[i]f you're an elephant, you use your nose to give yourself a bath" [image of trunk squirting water back over elephant's head]. For ears, you learn that a jackrabbit uses its ears to keep cool, and crickets have ears on their knees. A chimpanzee can eat with its feet, and a gecko's feet are sticky so it can walk on the ceiling. And so on.

Engrossing and whimsical from page to page again and again. Just wonderful!

At the end of the book, a section includes a one-paragraph "bio" with additional details about each animal, with the rest of the story on the unique appendage. For example, the chimpanzee has some general description, and also this detail about how they eat with their feet: "Like people, they have an opposable thumb. Unlike us, thy also have an opposable big toe.
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111 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Mother of 5 on July 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have never written a review before, but thought I must write one on this book! I have recently purchased 10 books off of amazon and this one if my absolute favorite! My 4 1/2 yr. old loves it as much as I do. I read it to him in the morning and that night I layed in bed with him asking him questions about the animals in the book and the different things they could do and he got every question right. For example I asked him how many teeth an anteater has and he answered correctly, "None!" Well, I'm off to try to find another book like it!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This, simply put, is a book about tails, animal tails. I also covers ears, noses, feet and a number of other parts of the anatome of animals. The illustrations are detailed, beautiful and very, very eye catching. The text is a wealth of information, simply stated, that is very informative. The child that reads this one with an adult cannot help but learn more and more about the wonderful natural world around them. At the end of the book we have a wonderful paragraph on each of the animals covered in the book, again, wonderful information and quite well presented. The book is quite well constructed and can take quite a lot of punishment from grubby little fingers. Obviously a lot of thought and work went into this one and we should be grateful to the authors. Recommend this one highly.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By K. Volz on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had thought about buying this, but always decided not to. My son (5 years old) checked this out of the library on his own. He loves it. The cut-paper artwork is beautiful. Despite the fact-based discussion, it can be a very fun book to read. On the section about whales being able to hear sounds hundreds of miles away, my son always breaks into a whale song of his own. He also stunned his daycare teachers when they went on-line to check out his assertion that crickets had ears in their knees. So there you have it: fun, educational, beautiful!
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Elisabeth on January 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my 2 and 3.5 year olds because they like anything that has to do with animals. Overall it's a great book and they love it. They both are able to guess the right animal part and it's one of the few books that they pick every night at story time. However, if I had seen this book prior to purchasing it I would have waited until my children were a little older. The book is recommended for 4-8 year olds and I would advise sticking with that age range. My 3.5 year old gets upset at the idea of the horned lizard squirting blood from his eye and the mosquito using his mouth to suck blood. Because my kids are so young I change the description for the mosquito but I can't get around the illustration of blood coming out of the horned lizard's eye.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amanda A. Miles on August 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Both of my children LOVE this book. They actually fight over it for a bed time story. My daughter, who is 7, reads it to me at night and my son, who is 5, loves to match the animals. It it a great book and I would recommend it to anyone who has children over 4 years old.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eva Monplaisier on May 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It is a good, informative book. Although my 9 years old son seems to be very old for this kind of reading, I still bought it for him because of the book's educational value. Surprise, surprise! - my Big Boy liked the book a lot(!) We now quiz each other about various animals... Another good book that I value a lot for its educational content is Why Some Cats are Rascals, Book 2 by B. Nowiki. I was afraid that in this case my son would to be a "little too little", but he is now reading it and seems to have even more fun... - lucky me, again!
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