Echidnas, by Lola M. Schaefer
This book about echidnas is part of a series about tiny-spiny animals. And if an animal belonged in the category of tiny and spiny, it was certainly the obscure echidna, which is my second favorite animal. This book is an interesting one mainly because the echidna, also known as the spiny anteater, is such a compelling and unusual animal. And admittedly while this book is perfectly serviceable, it is the echidna that is the star of the show. And that is precisely as it should be. This book is aimed at young readers, presumably elementary school ones, who have an interest in odd animals, possibly because they have been assigned to read and study about it. If that is the case, this book will perfectly serve those purposes. As someone who has always had a fondness for odd animals, this book was pleasant even if somewhat basic. As is the case with this sort of book, there are a lot of lovely photos of echidnas ambling about and licking up insects and trying to hide from would-be predators (or people), and that is pretty much what anyone would want out of a book like this, so it is definitely a success.
This book is a short one at 24 pages, and it is divided into unnumbered chapters that answer various basic questions about the echidna. These questions include: What are echidnas? Where do echidnas live? What do echidnas look like? What do echidnas feel like? How do echidnas use their spines? How big are echidnas? How do echidnas move? What do echidnas eat? Where do new echidnas come from? The answers to these questions are pretty straightforward, but I will not spoil them. After the questions there is a quiz, a picture glossary, a note to parents and teachers, answers to the quiz, and an index, which indicates again that this book is intended for the educational market of books about odd animals to help children appreciate the beauty and wonder of creation.