Review Blog

Nov 02 2012

Talk talk SQUAWK - how and why animals communicate by Nicola Davies

cover image

Ill. by Neal Layton. Walker Books Australia, 2012. Softcover. ISBN 9781 4063 3854 6.
(Age: 9-12) Recommended. Humans communicate with words, faces and hands, with signs and signals, flashing lights and sirens . . . and we aren't the only ones. So begins Talk talk SQUAWK, written by zoologist Nicola Davies, who has also written 2 other titles in a similar vein, about sharks and animal poo. This book is of the type which will fascinate curious young minds, and clearly Davies has the 'knack' of informing without boring, ably assisted by the illustrations of Layton, whose cartoons of enraptured female birds had everyone who read this book at my house in stitches, especially thanks to the addition of 'UKisims' such as 'Cor!' and 'you tell 'im' - what can I say, it's the little things.
There was a lot of genuine interest in this book and the facts within, and it sparked off some interesting discussion and independent learning. Any time you hear 'Did you know pandas ...' or 'Oooooh, so THAT'S why they make that noise', you know you are on to a winner.
Far from being dry, this book is fascinating, and I learnt a lot from reading it. I now know how stinkbugs flirt, for example. While that may not be a useful piece of knowledge in my day to day life, I am now a) more alert to the land of L'Amour in my vegetable garden and b) more likely to win at trivia nights, because the last question is always something completely obscure, designed to bring you back to try and win the meat tray next week.
I think this is a must have for any school library. With an estimated range of Year 4-7, depending on reading level and background knowledge, this book really hits the spot.
Freya Lucas

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Costa Children's Book Award 2019 shortlist
Best books US 2019
Booker Prize 2019
Nobel Prize in Literature 2018, 2019
Prime Minister's Literary Awards 2019
Laugh Out Loud Awards shortlist
Children's Laureate's charter

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Free Rights of the Reader Poster