Cannot outwit orangutangs.
Rocks are very good at sitting,
but never walk or take up knitting.
Living things all feel and sense
their way through every happenstance.ď
(from the Introduction)
In every steely, cold rational science mavenís heart runs a red-hot stream of romance. Finding the stream and allowing yourself to get in touch with it is whatís difficult. To the rescue comes the always iconoclastic Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses. (And letís stop for a moment to discuss priorities: If you havenít read that book, put down this review and run for the nearest library.)
Ackermanís lovely little book of poetry will appear at first glance to be a good gift for a child, and indeed a child would be handy to have around so you could justify reading the book aloud. It is more than that, though.
It is a book for the curious child in each of us, and lots and lots of the clever wordplay is as much to an adultís liking as the words in Dr. Seussís Cat in the Hat. There is also a lot of learning to be had here (I suspect she couldnít help herself)...Donít make the mistake of reading it once. Read it at least three times. Then youíll understand why a scientist like Carl Sagan was crazy about this woman.
--Stephen L. Petranek, Discover Magazine
Ackermanís personalized, poetic narrative is natural history writing at its
--ĒTop 10 Youth Poetry--American Library Association Booklist
*Good poetry, fine illustration, a bit of natural history gently rendered and more than occasionally funny-- what child could ask for anything more than
this exquisite little gem?