a different day, a different species

At bedtime at our house, the rhythmic strains of Dr. Seuss have long been replaced by nonfiction explorations. Recent fascinations with parakeets have given way to sharks and then octopuses and flamingos.  While the writing of these nonfiction narratives is less than exemplary, I have learned a great deal about these animals that I have frankly not considered since elementary school.

Tonight’s featured book:  Flamingos by Jean M. Malone.

In preparation for my coming pop quiz, I have learned why flamingos sometimes appear pink and sometimes are white (amount of carotene in the diet) and that their knees really don’t bend backwards (that’s their ankles). Overall, this is a fine nonfiction read–hardly exciting but informative enough and with nice large, bold pictures. The last page or two of the book, however, seem to be inserted from any random book on animals, the environment, Earth Day, good citizenship test, or grandmother lecture:

“Recycling, turning out lights, and not wasting water are all things you can do

to help make sure flamingos are safe.”

Really?  Turning off the tap while I brush my teeth will keep flamingos safe?  Even little e. saw through that logic and she’s not even in school yet.  If turning out the lights keep birds in the Everglades safe, then trimming my fingernails might make tulips in Holland grow.  Hmmmmm….


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