Last month I participated in the blog tour for HOW TO SPEAK ANIMAL, a new NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS title. Now that I have had a chance to actually read the 176 page book it’s time to share all the things that make it great.

The five chapters begin with a look at Communication Basics focusing on How Animals Communicate. Next you get a quick background on the senses important for animals (Hear, See, Touch, Smell).

The other four chapters cover over 60 animals arranged in categories where you would find them in the world:


Each two page spread features stunning photographs along with several paragraphs as to how the animal communicates. A few of my favorites inlcude:

  • When playing, Lions make humming or puffing noises to show they are comfortable or friendly.
  • Every Dolphin has a signature whistle.
  • Gerbils are known to wink, which can mean a few different things, including “Thank you” or ” Hello.”

The book can be read in any page order and a good plan is to start with your favorite animal via the handy back pages index. There’s also a quiz to test your knowledge, a glossary, and further resources.

Whether you are the intended audience or a lot older you’ll be saying many times “I didn’t know that!” Perfect as a gift or for yourself. How To Speak Animal speaks a great language you will find hard to put down.


DR. GABBY WILD earned her bachelor of science and doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degrees at Cornell University. She completed her veterinary internship training at Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital in Akron, Ohio, and received her master’s of public health (MPH) from the University of Minnesota. She is a published genetics researcher and uses her research background to screen zoonotic disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people. To help maintain a healthy planet, she monitors herd and individual health for rising epidemics. Dr. Wild balances her Western medicine practices with traditional Chinese medicine in an effort to blend both methodologies. Acclaimed for her role as “the veterinarian” on Animal Jam, the world’s largest online “playground,” with 54 million players, she creates educational videos and teaches children internationally about wildlife conservation and medicine. When not in the wild, Gabby works as a Wildlife Health Program veterinarian for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo and is a training veterinary surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island. She lives in New York City.

AUBRE ANDRUS is an award-winning children’s book author with dozens of books published by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, American Girl, Disney, Scholastic, and more. She has also ghostwritten books for young YouTube stars. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family.


Coming up next week is another edition of MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY! It’s here I share highlights from other individuals blogging about middle grade books. Many of the posts will have reviews, interviews, and tips on writing. Take a look at PAST MMGM POSTS.

It’s easy to join the lineup. All you have to do is email me the title of the book or feature and a link to your blog at gpcolo[at]gmail[dot]com

Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately–and don’t forget to say what you’re featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening (11 PM Eastern Time) in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday.

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to HOW TO SPEAK ANIMAL

  1. This sounds great! I love animals and I am fascinated about how they communicate, both with each other and with humans. Thanks for sharing!

  2. carolbaldwin says:

    I wonder if my granddaughter (who has wanted to be a vet since she was a toddler) would like this. Thanks!

  3. Animal lovers will love this book! So many interesting facts. I love what I’ve learned about elephants and whales over the years. So intelligent.

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