Did you know that male pufferfish carve intricate designs into the sand to attract a female? Or that swifts mate in midair? Or that brown hares can have two pregnancies at the same time?
You’ll find these fascinating facts—and plenty more—between the covers of Do Animals Fall in Love? A 142-page illustrated nonfiction book aimed at children ages 6+, this German import is not a quick read. Rather, it is one of those books that budding naturalists can grab to research a topic or browse at their leisure.
Do Animals Fall in Love? is neatly divided into sections (and subsections) on courtship, mating and giving birth in the animal kingdom. A one-page preface summarizes the content. Its title: “How Do Animals Do It?” Yes, this book provides a refreshingly honest (and unpatronizing) presentation of the many ways animals reproduce, accompanied by humorous cartoon-style artwork that doesn’t leave much to the imagination. One series of images shows a range of animals doing it, and there are no fewer than seven pages of annotated illustrations of “ingenious genitalia,” including a duck’s spiral vagina and an anteater’s four-pronged penis.
This clever, colorful compendium is a celebration of reproduction and diversity in the natural world that will inform, astonish and entertain readers of all ages.
Do Animals Fall in Love?
Written by Katharina von der Gathen
Illustrated by Anke Kuhl
Translated from the German by Shelley Tanaka
Gecko Press, 2021
Reviews: Kirkus starred review
Do Animals Fall in Love? was originally released by German publishing house Klett Kinderbuch under the title Das Liebesleben der Tiere.
Laura Taylor is the founder of world children’s literature blog Planet Picture Book. She is a small business copywriter, NAATI-certified translator of French into English and member of AUSIT. When she is not writing, she is reading, and chasing after her two young children. She tweets regularly @plapibo and posts at www.planetpicturebook.com