Living Color



Encyclopedic view of colorful, intriguing animals.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Explains why colors are important to animals for survival and gives fun facts about curious animals.

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that scientific-minded kids will lose themselves in this informative book.

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What's the story?

Explores a menagerie of colorful creatures and the ways their color protects them.

Is it any good?


Did you know animals communicate with their colors? Mother Nature's rainbow animal kingdom is so colorful for two reasons: to keep animals safe and to attract mates. This detailed book showcases gorgeous illustrations of animals of every kind -- from the green African chameleon to the yellow crazy ant -- along with the scientific details that make being colorful so important.

Young kids will be fascinated by the pictures -- some of the animals are really bizarre! -- while older kids will love the weird details (like the way the violet raft snail builds a raft of sticky bubbles so that it can float on the surface of the ocean). The pictures are detailed enough to stand up to scientific study and animals are grouped by color with plenty of subtitles to make it easy for kids to bounce around each page.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their favorite animals. What qualities make those animals so intriguing? They can also visit a zoo and check out the colorful animals there. Or quiz each other on some of the factoids in the book ("Why don't most wild birds lay white eggs?).

Book details

Author:Steve Jenkins
Illustrator:Steve Jenkins
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:September 10, 2007
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):7 - 10
Read aloud:7
Read alone:8

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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