by Judith Jango-Cohen
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
Category: Nonfiction – Animals
Personal Evaluation: This book had a list of more books, an index and a glossary (whose words were italicized throughout the book). Despite these great features, it seemed like it could use a bit more organization and clarification. For example, the author noted that there are 23 species, but in photos did not identify which species was pictures or where the animal lived, and they looked very different from each other. Some other visual representations, besides photos of porcupines and a map showing where the two classes of porcupines live, would have been nice. The author’s authority seemed to be only that she has spent a lot of time in nature. She did a pretty good job of writing engaging narration to introduce the chapter without too much anthropomorphizing, though I did wonder about a few words she used, like saying a porcupine surprised a lion or that a fisher was clever in its fight with the porcupine.
What might interest children: Kids will get a kick out of the photo of the dog with quills in its face and the one of the baby porcupette. There was one mention of the fact that porcupines often sleep hanging by their legs from a tree branch, but there was no photo which would have made a great addition. There are lots of photos (at least one per two-page spread) and “Did You Know?” facts along the margins to break up the text and keep interest.