Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Review: Masters of Disguise, by Rebecca L. Johnson

Okay, first of all: ewwwww!

Masters of Disguise: Amazing Animal Tricksters

See that bug on the cover? With what looks like a mound of dead ants stuck to its butt? 

That's an assassin bug. With a mound of dead ants stuck to its butt.

I'll stick to sunglasses and a hat if I want to disguise myself, thank-you very much. That isn't an option for most animals, however, and in this title Johnson explores some of the ways animals go about hiding themselves from each other - beyond the old camouflage and mimicry. 

From the butterfly larvae that makes ants think it is their queen, so that they will feed it their best - even ant larvae! - to the spider that builds a large puppet spider to scare predators away, this book left me wondering why animals haven't taken over the world yet and made us their slaves. Some of them sure do seem a lot smarter than us*! 

Then I thought about how pampered our animals are at home - both the 'domesticated' and the wild - and I realized maybe they already have. At any rate, I am glad they haven't designated me as their prey (yet), and I look forward to passing this title on to the next reluctant reader who walks into the library. Solid information presented in fascinating narratives, followed up by research from scientists in the field.

*Srsly. Does this video remind anyone of a certain Indiana Jones scene? They are smarter than us, and they cooperate a whole lot better!

Give this as a gift to that kid who thinks he doesn't like to read. Pair it with an ant farm (preferably not filled with those giant ants that eat people from the aforementioned movie), or a magnifying glass to go check out what the tiny critters in your own yard are up to!

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