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Over the years, I feel foxes have acquired a negative reputation for being cunning, sneaky, and tricky, but all that is about to change with the new book “Fox Talk.” If you are looking for a nonfiction book that will enlighten both you and your children, don’t rely on fables…check out L.E. Carmichael’s new book!
When you talk to a dog, does the dog talk back? Many people think so. But for a long time, scientists didn’t know how our furry friends learned to communicate with people. Luckily, Russian scientist Dmitri Belyaev had a plan. If he could tame wild red foxes, he could learn how dogs first came from wolves. By studying the way these foxes changed during domestication, the mystery of communication would be solved at a last. More than 50 years after the experiment began, Belyaev’s foxes have become so tame, you can have one as a pet! Packed with eye-popping photos and first-hand research, FOX TALK reveals the story of these amazing animals… and everything they’ve taught us about wolves, dogs, and communication.
After reading “Fox Talk,” both of my girls (4 and 7) desperately want a pet fox because they are “so adorable!” Incredibly, they aren’t simply adorable to see, but my girls now understand that domesticated foxes are amazing communicators with humans, making them seem far more “adorable” to my girls than looks alone.
The book goes way beyond simply demonstrating the difference between domesticated and wild animals. Throughout the text readers are taken on a journey from our current canine pets (dogs), as far back as 12,000 years ago when foxes appear to have been a special friend of humans. Readers will discover how researchers have studied foxes to learn more about our current pets, while discovering new information and participating in simple experiments to learn about behaviors. Pictures, charts, and graphs help engage younger readers as they listen to how scientific discoveries have been made.
My girls were particularly impressed with all the different sounds foxes make, from coughing to mooing and from whining to panting, depending on the fox’s feelings. As a teacher, I believe the book provided great exposure to how researchers test their theories and form conclusions, making this book a perfect tie-in to learning about the Scientific Method.
We all know the saying that dogs are “man’s best friend,” but throughout the book, we learn that foxes play a special part in this relationship. Between the interesting facts, research studies, at-home experiments, and engaging photography, learning about foxes was enjoyable and effortless. My girls and I highly recommend “Fox Talk” to others interested in learning about these incredible furry creatures.
Title: Fox Talk
Author: L.E. Carmichael, PhD
Book Designer: Michael Penman
Illustrator: Jody Bronson
Photography: Brian Dust
Publication Date: August 8, 2013
Publisher: Ashby-BP Publishing
Recommended Age: 8+
About The Author: L.E. Carmichael
Lindsey Carmichael never outgrew that stage of childhood when nothing’s more fun than amazing your friends (and correcting your teachers!) with your stockpile of weird and wonderful facts. Her sense of wonder came in handy during her career as a scientist, and in 2006, she received the Governor General’s Medal for her PhD thesis, Ecological Genetics of Northern Wolves and Arctic Foxes. Lindsey finds talking about science more fun than doing it, however, and now writes for kids, teens, and occasionally adults (a sense of wonder is essential for this, too). Lindsey publishes under the name L. E. Carmichael, and her work has appeared in Dig, Highlights for Children, Kiki, and Canadian Tales of the Fantastic. Her published science books cover everything from animal migration to hybrid cars. When not digging up obscure or wacky details for her next nonfiction project, Lindsey’s probably working on her young adult fantasy novel.
* Blog Tour Giveaway *
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Contest runs: January 27th to February 21, 11:59 pm, 2014
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Would you prefer to purchase this book? Find it available in hardcover, paperback, or digital editions:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapter/Indigo (Canada)
To find out what other people are saying about the book, visit the Fox Talk Blog Tour schedule by clicking the image below:
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book above to aid in the writing of an honest review. A positive review was not required and all opinions are mine alone.