Friday, April 3, 2020

Play Like an Animal!

Play Like an Animal!: Why Critters Splash, Race, Twirl, and Chase 
by Maria Gianferrari; illus. by Mia Powell
32 pages; ages 5 - 9
Millbrook Press, 2020

theme: animal behavior, play

Dash! Hide! Splash! Ride! 

Do you like to play? Animals do, too. When animals play, they might be practicing how to hunt, how to fight, or how to escape from predators. Or – they might just be having fun. From mud-splashing peccaries to a wolf pup tug-of-war, Marie Gianferrari shows thirteen different animals at play.

What I like love about this book: I love the VERBS! These animals plonk, chase, slide and glide. They dunk and punch, bound and wrestle. So much action happens on these pages that you just want to get up and move!

And I love the Back Matter! This is where we learn whether animals play by the rules and why play is so important to animals – and humans. And there are plenty of fun facts about each of the animals featured in the book.

I caught up with Maria by email to ask her One Question ~

Archimedes: Do you think it's important for grown-ups to play?

Maria: I don't play enough, but I'm about to start another jigsaw puzzle. They're so meditative! And play is the perfect stress reliever, so my motto is #playeveryday, for both kids and adults. I hope that staying at home is leading to playing at home!

Beyond the Books:

Find out more about the games animals play. You can read an article here, and watch some wolf pups playing here.

Modify your favorite games to play indoors. We played sock-hockey in the kitchen, using rolled newspapers as hockey sticks. How about balloon volleyball? Tape mazes? Duck-duck-goose or hide-and-seek? Here are some ideas for active indoor play – and here’s more.

Make up some active games to play when you are stuck inside your house for a month. And share your list with your friends.

Write a list of VERBS that describe the ways you play. Do you squirm? Chase? Tumble? Race?

Maria is a member of #STEAMTeam2020. You can find out more about her at her website.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. I love this book! Great post, Sue and Maria! We all need to remember to PLAY. :)

  2. Even more so now! Play & be safe, everyone!

  3. Very timely book with kids at home! Used to play an animal game with my daughter when she was young -- actually it is fun as it lets adults play too!!

  4. I love the illustrations and the concept of this book. I can't wait to read it.