Author: Marianne Taylor and Lauren Taylor
Illustrator: Paul Moran
Publisher: Reader’s Digest
ISBN: 978-1-62145-030-6

What if your parents appeared to have two pairs of eyes? Some birds have eye-like patterns on the backs of their heads, so it seems like they’re watching you when they’re not. Your devious deeds might come to an end if you had trouble telling whether you were being watched or not,” Marianne Taylor and Lauren Taylor ask in their book, What if Humans Were Like Animals – The Amazing and Disgusting Life You’d Lead as a Snake, Bird, Fish or Worm!

With one hundred and forty-three pages, this hardbound small book is targeted toward elementary to middle school children with no profanity or uncomfortable topics except for making fun of bodily functions. Illustrator Paul Moran does a thorough job with his artistic black and white ink drawings on every page. Having seventy-two different topics, unfortunately there is no index for quick animal reference at the back of the book.

Taylor and Taylor are creative in their adaption of animals to humans by asking what if we had specific body designs or traits similar to animals. Starting with common themes such as eyes, ears, mouth and teeth, drawings and descriptions correlate spiders, flies, honeybees, lizards and flatfish to our own bodies with fun, imaginative pictures.

Four circular icons are on specific pages, notifying the reader if the blended concepts are scary, smart, handy or rotten with a numbered one to five rating. A person having the sawfish’s long nose gets only a three in the handy rating while there is a rotten five rating for vomiting chewed food into their young ones’ mouths if you were like a mother bird. If you had the horned lizard’s eyes that can shoot a stream of blood up to five feet, you get a five scary score but a smart three rating is if you could communicate like a fish that farts.

One can glean information about the smiley babirusa pig, the hairy musk ox, the microscopic tardigrades, the communicating howler monkeys, the sweat-drinking sweat bees, the slimy velvet worms and the dirty malleefowl depicted on the pages.

Although some of the concepts are rather gross and sophomoric, this actually is a great innocuous teaching tool about unique animals and their traits. The authors and illustrator did a good job stimulating creativity and individuality that not only young children will enjoy, adults can also learn a bit about the amazing animal kingdom.

This book was furnished by the publicist for review purposes.

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