By Beth Fielding
EarlyLight Books, 36 pages, $14.95

A Tale of Tails

The tails of animals tell many tales. Why do animals have tails and how do they use them? Beth Fielding, in her book Animal Tails, explores the variety of tails found in nature and their uses. Scaly, skinny, busy, balancing, jumping, stinging, wagging, and curly…so many tails! From the cute and cuddly to the slithery and slippery, the book features an animal to interest anyone! The author brilliantly mixes together a balance of science and fun to create a book that kids will spend hours enjoying. Also, the photographs allow readers to get up close with the tails of many species.

Why do animals like elephants, giraffes and zebras have such large, skinny tails with a tuft of hair at the end? This type of design lets them hit the insects off their backs and necks that are biting them. For kangaroos, having a big tail helps them balance. Primates use long tails to anchor themselves in trees and to hold on to their babies. Each animal is profiled on two pages. Fielding fills the entry with fun facts and trivia. She even includes a section on how animals communicate with their tails!

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin