Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Spectacular Spots

Spectacular Spots

Susan Stockdale
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Peachtree Publishers, 2015   ISBN: 978-1561458172

Animals of all kinds have spots on their bodies, wings and fins. Often we think that these spots are there to make the animals look prettier, and in some cases this is true. In these instances, spots are there so that the male animals can show off to the females and attract their attention. However, more often the spots we see on animals serve a different and important purpose.

The eyespots on the wings of butterflies can frighten off predators, while the spots on the bodies of jaguars, snakes, crabs and others serve as camouflage. Brightly colored spots can also tell predators that the animal that has the spots is poisonous or that it tastes nasty.

In this delightful picture book children get to meet just some of the many animals in the world who have spots on their bodies. The rhyming text accompanies beautiful, colorful illustrations that show us insects, mammals, invertebrates, birds, amphibians, reptiles and others in their natural environments. We travel up into the air and deep underwater. We go to tropical rainforests and to a farmyard.

At the back of the book readers will find notes about the nineteen animal species that appear in the book. Often the author tells us how the spots on the bodies of the animals help them survive and flourish. There is also a two page spread on which there are nineteen boxes containing the spots of the animals that we met in the book. We have to figure out which pattern belongs to which animal.