Friday, December 2, 2011

Talk, Talk, Squawk! a human's guide to animal communication by Nicola Davies

Talk, Talk, Squawk! : a human’s guide to animal communication
Nicola Davies; Illustrated by Neal Layton
Candlewick Press. 2011
ISBN: 9780763650889
I checked this book out from my public library.
6 Stars
(Grades 4 and up)

“Human beings never stop communicating!
With words…
With faces…
With hands…
Not to mention with signs, signals, flashing lights, and sirens.
And we aren’t the only ones. Wherever you go on the planet, animals are doing it, too!”

Best known for “Surprising Sharks”, “What’s eating you?”, “Extreme Animals: the toughest creatures on Earth”, Davies again pairs with Layton to bring us an irresistible science book that combines fact with humor. These are the type of science books that children love to read.

Here, readers learn that there are a myriad of ways animals communicate for many different reasons. To find mates, to locate food, to define territory.

There are 22 entries (the title appears in bold at the top of the page) that cover a wide spectrum of animal communication.

“Stripes Spell Danger” explains why animals go to the trouble of being bright and stripy “if you already have a nasty bite, sting, or taste to keep predators at bay.”

I learned why bird songs vary depending on their habitats in “Sing It to Win It”. “Woodland birds tend to have lots of clear whistles in their songs, as these carry well in the still air of a forest.” 

Throughout the book Layton’s playful illustrations are everywhere.  His characters give humorous comments in text balloons which blend perfectly with the text.

There is so much information packed into this book’s 62 pages.

Davies closes with a thought-provoking idea: Can animals really talk and understand our language?
“Scientists listening out for alien communications from space have developed computer programs that can spot the tell-tale footprint of a language in any signal. One day this technique could be used on dolphin sounds, which might be close to our idea of language. Maybe then we’ll finally know what animals have to say about us.”

Maybe they are saying, “Go Away and Stop Messing Up the Planet!”

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting about this book! I've enjoyed Nicola Davies's other books, but I didn't know about this one! I'll make sure to get my hands on it. :)