Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

There's a Babirusa in My Bathtub! Fact and Fancy About Curious Creatures

There's a Babirusa in My Bathtub! Fact and Fancy About Curious Creatures

Maxine Rose Schur
Illustrator:  Michael S. Maydack 
Poetry and nonfiction
For ages 7 to 9
Dawn Publications, 2009   ISBN: 978-1584691181

Most of us know about cats and dogs, horses and zebras. We have seen giraffes in a zoo, and elephants at the circus. We think we know a lot about animals, but what about the babirusa, civet, kinkajou, matamata, and tamandua. Do you know anything about these animals?
In this fascinating and entertaining book, Maxine Rose Schur combines poems with nonfiction to give her readers portraits of thirteen unusual animals. She begins with the babirusa, a rather unfortunate looking pig-like animal that has two pairs of tusks. Babirusa’s love water, which is why the poem about this animal describes what it would be like to have a “babirusa in my bathtub.” In the nonfiction text that accompanies the poem we learn that babirusas are such good swimmers that they can swim from island to island in their Asian habitat.

Later on in the book we meet the hagfish, a bizarre looking marine eel like creature that “ties herself into a bow / And squeezes clean from head to toe.” This rather novel way of cleaning itself is not the only strange thing the hagfish does. It also eats using a tongue that is covered with teeth, and it can produce enormous amounts of slime.

Animal loving children are sure to enjoy this unique book with its poems, its sections of fact-filled text, and its illustrations. At the back of the book, the author provides her readers with additional information and activities that parents and teachers can use.

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