Penguins vs. Puffins

64p. further reading. index. photos. websites. National Geographic. Sept. 2017. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781426328695.
Gr 3–5—This book presents a sports competition between cute penguins and adorable puffins and invites young readers to cheer their preferred team to victory. While the birds face off, a variety of animals run continuous commentary on an assortment of distinctive categories, such as "Outstanding Feet," "Scariest Archnemesis," and "Most Amazing Adaptation." The fact-filled pages include puns, jokes, contests, cartoons, and the famed photography of National Geographic. Though whimsical in tone, the text is serious about presenting solid information on the life and habits of both avian species, emphasizing the many similarities between them as well as the differences that set them apart. In the section on "Best Parent," the arduous 50-mile walk that mother penguins endure to bring food for their chicks and mates is clearly explained. For Puffins, the dangers from both sky and sea are ever-present as they guard their eggs and young from hungry predators.
VERDICT Useful as an independent read for students interested in animal life and behavior and for classroom units on compare and contrast, this book will be a beneficial addition to most nonfiction collections.

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