Friday, October 14, 2022

Meet some Peculiar Primates

Peculiar Primates: Fun Facts About These Curious Creatures 
by Debra Kempf Shumaker; illus. by Claire Powell 
32 pages; ages 4-8
‎Running Press Kids, 2022

theme: nonfiction, animals, adaptations

 All primates climb and breathe in air. 

To be a primate, you have to have certain traits: hands, hair, lungs, and a big brain. But there are so many kinds of primates, and they are all different. In this companion to Freaky, Funky Fish, Debra uses rhyme to show the diversity of primates and their behaviors. Some primates live alone, while some live in groups. Some build nests and some sleep with their family on bare branches, with their tails twined together.

What I like about this book: I love so much about this book that I’ll just start from the outside and move in. First is the jacket: so many different primates swinging, perched on limbs, grooming, hooting, leaping! And then, the actual book cover beneath the jacket. It’s a field notebook – which adds context to the endpages: a map taped to a page, a packing list, and some reminders clipped to the list. The title page is fun, as is the dedication page… and we have yet to reach the meat of the book!

I love the couplets – rhythm is spot on, and the rhymes are fun to read out loud. Primates featured on the spreads are identified, so curious young primatologists can learn their names. And some receive Peculiarity Department Ratings (on a scale of 1-10)

And there is back matter! Three pages of more info about the primates featured on each spread. Plus websites and books and videos. There’s a lot here for parents and teachers – and older kids who want to explore the field of primatology.

But what I loved the most was the last spread featuring young primates playing and building things. You don’t even have to go to a zoo to see one – just look in the mirror!

Beyond the Books:

What traits do you share with other primates?

If you live near a zoo, visit all the primates there. Spend some time watching them (are they watching you?). Write down what you observe.

Some primates use tools. What kind of tools do you use? Here’s a video of chimpanzees using tools.  

Debra is a member of #STEAMTeam2022. 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment