Rebecca E. Hirsch, PhD, is the author of numerous books about science, nature, and geography for children. She lives with her husband and three children in State College, Pennsylvania. You can visit her online at rebeccahirsch.com.
After establishing basic concepts, four chapters cover physical characteristics, habitat, unique behaviors and life cycle. Each chapter begins with a description of the titled animal, then goes on to compare the subject with several different animals. Grizzly bears are compared to wolverines, three-banded armadillos, wild boars, black-footed ferrets, striped skunks, American bison, jaguars, and titi monkeys. A chart in each chapter summarizes traits of the featured animal with one of the compared animals. A final chart uses six traits to compare all nine animals, three of which are characteristic of all mammals, the others of which are more species specific, such as hibernation (for grizzlies). Other than quibbles with the inconsistent use of scientific terms in the glossaries, the information is, for the most part, clear and consistent. VERDICT: The unusual comparison of mammal traits makes this a series worth considering. School Library Journal, Series Made Simple-- "Journal"