Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tooling Around: A Book Review

Tooling Around: Crafty Creatures and the Tools They Use is a neat look at how animals use tools. It explores the concept of a tool, as there are a few definitions for this, such as "an object that an animal uses to accomplish a goal." Of course, as humans, we use tools all the time.

I like the two page spread with simple two lines of text on one side and a more in depth section on the other side. If I'm reading to younger kids I could just use the simpler side, using the other information as background information with myself. With older kids, I might stick to the more detailed information.
The book looks at finches with a cactus spine, chimps using sticks to get termites, otters using a rock to crack shells, crows using a wire or forked twig for a hook (some local crows will do this), a red deer putting mud and grass to look larger, a bowerbird who builds a nest with paint and decorations, flies that bring a "gift" to a potential mate, dolphins using sponges, squids with coconut shells, and more! None were local to our area, but now I think I will be watching more closely!

At the end, the author has a note looking at the history of tools and animals that use them. Additionally, she shares where the creatures in the book live, additional books related to the topic, websites to peruse, and a bibliography. 

While I really enjoy the book, it's not one I would use with groups as much as it doesn't show our local nature. However, it would fit in well for specific stations or presentations on animal behaviors. It may be perfect for the animal lover kid who wants to learn all about animals and how they act. 

Like animals? Want to encourage children to learn about them through play? Check out this post on 16+ ideas for animal play
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