Follow these step-by-step directions to learn how to catch fish with a bubble net, defend yourself, play dead, crack a nut, establish your territory, and more. This tongue-in-cheek take on the how-to book suggests a few things — such as learning to fly — that might not be easy for most readers. But it accurately describes the way 18 different animals solve problems.

32 pages
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
September 2015

This is an immediately engaging approach that lets the team’s sly humor bubble up in straight out comedy as well as illustrative detail. Layout is inviting for even reluctant readers, with each task broken down into four to eight clearly headed steps and taking up only a page or two. Aside from the obvious science and literature-related uses for this, don’t overlook performance possibilities: kids who can follow the instructions to “Dance Like a Grebe” will bring the house down.
Bulletin, starred review
Numbered instructions, accompanied by Jenkins’s always excellent paper collages, demonstrate how to repel insects like a capuchin monkey, catch a meal like a crocodile, or defend oneself like an armadillo. Beneath the irreverent tone, there’s ample information about the animals’ traits and behavior (and even more in an appendix), adding up to a highly enjoyable mix of science and humor.
Publishers Weekly, starred review
Even if you have never have wondered how to swallow a pig, one of the best ways to understand how a python accomplishes this feat is to imagine yourself doing so, following the step-by-step directions here. There’s enough detail in the simply written, amusing text to make the processes interesting and informative, but an additional paragraph on each animal appears in an appended section along with an illustration miniaturized to postage-stamp size. Fascinating facts presented with droll wit—a winning combination.
School Library Journal, starred review

The Eureka! Nonfiction Children's Book Award 2011

Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 for 2012

Chicago Public Library's 2012 Best of the Best

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