Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Friend or Foe

Publish September 29, 2015

In Friend or Foe: The Whole Truth about Animals That People Love to Hate, award-winning author and science educator, Etta Kaner, takes a close look at ten animals that often get a bad reputation. Convincing arguments are presented as to why each creature is considered creepy, as well as counter evidence that lauds their merits. The much maligned mosquito, for example, is infamous for spreading disease, but they create a positive buzz in nature by pollinating many plants. Sure, leeches are slimy bloodsuckers, but on the other hand, they also keep water ecosystems healthy and have saved human lives with their wound-healing abilities. David Anderson’s full-page, cartoon illustrations showcase hissing rattlesnakes, scavenging vultures, and skittering cockroaches in all of their gruesome glory. Funny quips accompany small, black and white vignettes, such as a rat with a belly full of garbage remarking, “Hey! A guy’s gotta eat, doesn’t he?” Etta Kaner’s conversational, persuasive writing style allows readers to consider different viewpoints in a highly entertaining manner. Chapter headings alternate from boldly sensational (“Spiders: Scary, Sneaky, and Spooky,”) to sweetly complimentary (“Spiders are Spectacular!”). Readers are encouraged to think critically before making a “Friend” or “Foe” decision. A list of reference sources at the end of this well-researched book will prompt further exploration and discussion.

Friend or Foe: The Whole Truth about Animals That People Love to Hate

Etta Kaner
Illustration EN: David Anderson
Owlkids Books
ISBN 13: 978-1-77147-064-3

Linda Ludke
Linda Ludke

Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library.  Her reviews have appeared in Quill and QuireSchool Library Journal and CM:  Canadian Review of Materials.  When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.

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