Thursday, June 1, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Science Comics: Dogs: From Predator to Protector


Rudy (a dog), is the narrator of this volume in the Science Comics series. He tells us that he is a "canardly" - you can 'ardly tell what breed. While at the local dog park, Rudy chases his favorite ball into the past. He explains to readers how dogs evolved from wild predators to tame companions and protectors (and also looks for his lost ball). His explanation covers topics like Linnaeus, Mendel, Darwin, Punnett squares, DNA, nature and nurture, the gene pool, and pretty much anything else that affects the adaptation of a species over time. Rudy gives examples of how a dog's senses work; the difference in what colors they can see compared to human eyesight, the way they can detect odors that are only 1 or 2 parts per trillion, or how far their hearing range extends. Breeds, dog shows, pedigrees, vocal communication and body language are all a part of Rudy's explanations. One fun fact he shares is that dogs and humans are two species that both continue to play even after they reach adult age.

This series follows in the tradition of the Magic School Bus and the Max Axiom books by sharing science concepts through a graphic format. In this case, the comic style illustrations display the different time periods Rudy visits as he traces the evolution of dogs, and readers can also see his determination to retrieve his ball. There are plenty of facts, and also helpful features such as a glossary, a list of books for further reading. One last appearance by Rudy is similar to the bonus scenes that show up during a movie's end credits. He urges readers to consider pet adoption and find a companion to take into their home. This book is an excellent introduction to the history of domesticated dogs, and offers enough basic facts to give readers a good place to start researching the topic more deeply on their own.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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