Friday, July 24, 2015

Tooth and Claw: Animal Adventures in the Wild by Ted Lewin

"Close Encounters with Dangerous Animals" is the subtitle I would have given Ted Lewin's book Tooth and Claw: Animal Adventures in the Wild. Perhaps that would have been too sensational, but Lewin sometimes gets closer to wildlife than he intended. Round a path's curve, find bears. Climb onto a sunny rock on a chilly day and find rattlesnakes. Go for a swim and meet a bull face to face.

The most dangerous of animals just looked at Lewin, who stayed still and backed away slowly, shaken but not breaking eye contact. The boldest animals were the raccoons of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. They jumped onto a backpack he was still holding.

After each short wildlife encounter that Lewin describes in his book, he adds factual information about species and habitat in which he found them. I was particularly struck by his telling that dung-beetles were hard at work during the time of the dinosaurs. They had a lot to work with then and are still providing valuable service to the environment worldwide.

Tooth and Claw is an older title (2003) that Bonnie discovered and brought home. Lewin wrote the text, took the photos, and drew the illustrations. It is still timely. Considered a children's book, it is vastly entertaining to adults as well.

Lewin, Ted. Tooth and Claw: Animal Adventures in the Wild. HarperCollins, 2003. 97p. ISBN 9780688141059.

No comments: