What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?



Interactive, educational, stunningly illustrated.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is interactive, educational, fun, and stunningly illustrated, and it's a delightful way for young children to satisfy their natural curiosity about animals.

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What's the story?

On double-paged spreads with crisp white backgrounds, the reader is shown a group of five similar body parts--noses, ears, tails, feet, and mouths--and asked to guess which animal each belongs to. The answers are on the following page with a picture of the whole animal and a brief description of how each animal uses that body part in a slightly differently way. At the back of the book there are four pages of additional notes on each animal.

Is it any good?


Elegantly designed, the pages of this book have bright white backgrounds and fascinating, subtly colored, textured paper collage illustrations. The book is a smorgasbord for the eyes. Using a second-person voice in the text, the authors draw the reader into the book with direct questions as well as collaborative answers. Along the way, children will gather intriguing bits of information about both familiar and exotic animals. For older children who want to know more, the notes in the back are a treasure trove.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how animals communicate. What are some of the different ways in which animals use their noses, ears, tails, eyes, mouths, and feet?

Book details

Authors:Steve Jenkins, Robin Page
Illustrators:Leonard Jenkins, Robin Page
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:February 1, 2004
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Award:Caldecott Medal and Honors

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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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