Curious Creatures Working with Tools was a surprise find the other day. I was thinking it would be dull, lots of science facts. And there are facts, but they are presented in simple (not simplistic) ways to show you the animal kingdom in all their glory. My favorite fact is that even if an animal looks like it is using a tool, it might not be. Using a tool is actually a complicated process and this book shows you the differences.
My second favorite fact is that the same species might not even use tools in the same way. Each group has adapted to their environment. The capuchin monkey example was fun reading. And you get all the animals and all their tool using ways. You see the side of animals that show that they are intelligent and learn how to use their environment to their advantage. Some of it includes camouflage, some using sticks as “forks”, or sticks as a spear. Sometimes it is even making a nest for babies and of course even otters and their favorite rocks.
We might know about chimps and how they use tools, in fact, many say chimps are humanlike in that manner (I say we are probably more chimp like). But it is debatable which came first as it does look like some animals learned from humans. And others, like crows, might have learned by accident but they use cars in ways we never would have. We see several different ones and that is all thanks to Zoe Armstrong.
They create easy to understand pages which are both educational and enjoyable. And Anja Susani has illustrations that are realistic, but obviously drawn. But that is okay. They are expressive and allow for a slightly lighter tone, adding to the accessibility. Colorful, fun and also educational.
Adults and kids alike can enjoy this book (and I am now curious about others in the series). I can see this as all ages, the seven to nine crowd might be turned off by a picture book format, but you can use it in the classroom to assist in information gathering.