Tuesday, April 2, 2013

GOING APE! by Eduardo Bustos

Bustos, Eduardo, and Lucho Rodriguez. Going Ape! New York: Tundra, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-77049-282-0, $9.95. 

Did you know that there are more than two hundred species of primates in the world and, except for humans, they are known as apes? Did you know that the Gibbon is the fastest mammal that lives in trees and cannot fly? Or that the Macaque can swim more than half a kilometer (a third of a mile for those of us in the US)? Or that the Allen’s Swamp Monkey has webbed feet? How about the fact that Orangutans, my favorite ape of all time, live with their mothers for seven years?

Well, not only is all of this true, there are many more facts to be learned about apes in Bustos and Rodrigeuz’s book. Originally written in Spanish, Going Ape!’s colorful and straightforward illustrations nicely complement its easily accessible text. This is an excellent book for the beginning reader—the text is large and, excepting the names of the apes, there aren’t too many multi-syllabic words. For those in San Diego, or anyone who lives near a zoo, this would be a very useful book to read in preparation for a zoo trip. As a final note, the large illustration of each ape’s face would serve as a neat template for a mask and there's a pretty cool poster with all the different ape faces on the backside of the cover!

Reviewed by Stephanie Ashley

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