THE LONG AND SHORT TAIL OF COLO AND RUFF

Book Cover

Two inquisitive cubs of different
species search their habitat for a new tail for one.

Colo, the cougar cub, is chasing a
feather using her long tail for balance when she meets Ruff, a bobcat cub. He’s in
awe of her graceful jumping skills, which Colo attributes to her tail. The two
set off to find Ruff a better tail. They trap a lizard, but its tail breaks
off. They spot a hawk but write it off when a tail feather falls and they fear
the whole tail is about to detach. The skunk’s tail’s too smelly, and the
gopher’s is just as short as Ruff’s—but the gopher’s speed and agility teach the two cats that a short tail can be useful too. The new friends bid each
other goodbye and head back to their mothers to eat. Lang’s nature tale
definitely exists to teach, but young animal lovers will enjoy its quick
progression. Klein’s realistic, detailed colored-pencil illustrations are a bit
washed out but a good accompaniment nonetheless; some hide pictographs on the
rocks that predict the story to come. Nearly every double-page spread has one
or two facts, marked by a paw print and set in a smaller font, that relate to
the action of the story. Backmatter includes species comparisons, a quiz, a
tail-matching activity, and information about tail adaptations as well as internet
links and sources.

A fine addition to science and
nature collections. (Picture book. 6-10)

kirkusreviews.com

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