Official Review: Animals teach us life by Nabi Gueye

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MsTri
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Official Review: Animals teach us life by Nabi Gueye

Post by MsTri » 17 Jul 2018, 16:51

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Animals teach us life" by Nabi Gueye.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Even though I did not particularly enjoy my school days, I've always considered myself a student of life. However, I've never considered all the lessons that can be learned from our four-legged (or eight-legged or two-finned) friends or not-so-friends. Fortunately, Nabi Gueye has considered just this and has written a handy little guide, Animals teach us life (author's capitalization), to the things we can learn from our furry or scaly neighbors.

In this 51-page booklet, Mr. Gueye focuses on one animal per page, first noting some information about this creature and then advising us on what we can learn from this animal. For instance, we learn that "Thanks to their multiple physiological adaptations, camels can go long periods without drinking or eating, and survive in dry environments. Their humps, for instance, concentrate body fats which are helpful in that matter." Our lesson from such information is that "You need to find out saving strategies to withstand hard times." A student of the Nature Channel, I already knew many of the facts presented but had never related them to the human experience, so I appreciated the parallels. With that being said, I was confused about the sections on the mouse and on the cow. The former's lesson didn't really seem to follow the fact, and the latter's fact and lesson were both related to humans rather than showing how anything benefits the cow itself. Before these factoids, there was a cute little fable starring a parrot, gecko, and wolf; this section very much reminded me of Aesop, thereby making me smile.

Each page also has a picture of the animal in question. They are all actual photographs, and I enjoyed looking at them - except for the arachnid, eew! - though very few of the pictures really exemplify the lesson being taught. I especially liked the pictures of a dog and its human, the panda, and all of the felines, big and small. Some of the pictures are a bit grainy, but that's likely because they were taken in the wild and therefore on the run (or fly or swim).

As much as I liked this little guide, there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to how the animals were arranged. Being the organized sort, I would have preferred if they'd been sectioned alphabetically or according to genus or something.

Sadly, Animals teach us life was littered with grammatical errors, and I found ten errors over the course of the short book. These missteps ran the gamut from punctuation mistakes to missing words to incorrect tense. Additionally, many words that should have been plural were singular and vice-versa. There was also one fragment, one instance when "ones" was used in place of the correct "one's", and one typo. I think English may be a second language for the author, as there were also many sentences that, though grammatically correct, had awkward syntax. I strongly urge Mr. Gueye to hire an editor so that children may learn proper English as well as facts while reading this.

With all things considered, I am forced to give this guide 3 out of 4 stars. If it wasn't for the typographical errors, I might recommend it to children over the age of 12 since some of the words and phrases - like "tenacious" and "arsenal of protection" - are too complex for youngsters of a younger age. I do think adults who are interested in nature may like to while away an hour or so with this book. Readers who like fables and/or analogies may also find something to like therein. If you still need help deciding whether or not to read this, let me offer you words of wisdom from the Parrot's page:
Pay attention to words! They are a double-edged sword. They can serve you well as well as drown you in the deep waters of regret.
******
Animals teach us life
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Post by Cecilia_L » 18 Jul 2018, 11:39

Since I'm one who loves finding lessons through nature, I appreciate the premise of this book. Minus the errors, it sounds like a valuable teaching tool. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Post by Ishaku Yusuf » 18 Jul 2018, 12:58

It is good to recommend for children in schools so that they will learn lesson about nature, errors should corrected.

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Post by crediblereading2 » 18 Jul 2018, 13:50

I am telling you that there are a lot of things that us humans can learn from animals. Just look at how a dog nurtures and cares for her pups. Lovely review.

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Post by Abigail R » 18 Jul 2018, 14:00

Thanks for the review! I work with preschool/ early elementary aged children and I am always looking for new books to help them learn. Although, majority of my kids are learning English as a second language so it is helpful to know of the grammatical errors.
I think I will check this one out my self!

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Post by Miriam Molina » 18 Jul 2018, 20:33

I believe this is the sequel (as promised by the author) to "32 Animals, 32 Lessons" which I reviewed some months back. The grammatical lapses are still the same. The fable (with the parrot, gecko and wolf) seems the same. I am familiar with the camel lesson. The author is lucky I did not pick this book, LOL!

I actually thought the first book was not suited for children because the lessons taught were profound even for adults.

As usual, your review entertained me much.

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Post by Bonnie Shelby » 18 Jul 2018, 21:10

Whenever the nature channel comes on, I always find myself glued to my seat, fascinated by the wildlife being shown. So despite the grammatical errors, this book sounds like a really interesting, quick read. I also like the idea that we can learn from animals. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by MsTri » 18 Jul 2018, 22:13

Miriam Molina wrote:
18 Jul 2018, 20:33
I believe this is the sequel (as promised by the author) to "32 Animals, 32 Lessons" which I reviewed some months back. The grammatical lapses are still the same. The fable (with the parrot, gecko and wolf) seems the same. I am familiar with the camel lesson. The author is lucky I did not pick this book, LOL!

I actually thought the first book was not suited for children because the lessons taught were profound even for adults.

As usual, your review entertained me much.
How in the world did I miss that?! Now I've got to go find YOUR review, ha-ha!

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Post by hsimone » 20 Jul 2018, 12:43

It's always fun learning about animals, and what a neat idea to tie in with lessons for people. Yes, I agree on the organizational aspect. I would have liked some sort of organization to the introduction to the animals, too. Too bad about the grammatical errors. It's always scary to introduce a book to children when there are errors throughout; it definitely sets a poor example of what good writing looks like. I do like the fable tie-in, but I don't think this one is for me. Thank you for the insightful review, and I'm glad you enjoyed this one!
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Post by haleygerstenberg » 20 Jul 2018, 14:00

This sounds like it could be a great book if it had a bit more editing / structure, and maybe the touch of an illustrator - I like this style of book, too bad it isn't polished off.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 20 Jul 2018, 15:31

This seems like a really sweet guide. I am a huge fan of Aesop's fables, and from what the parrot says, this definitely has an Aesoppy ring to it (that sounds funny but you know what I mean). Loved your review - thanks so much.
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Post by Kat Berg » 20 Jul 2018, 17:43

I do enjoy books about animals, especially when I don't want to read anything heavy, but grammatical errors (and grainy pictures!) are pet peeves and can keep me from enjoying the book. I am glad that you found some enjoyment in it and hope that the author hires an editor! Thanks for the review. :)

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Post by teacherjh » 21 Jul 2018, 00:47

This sounds like a good pretext for a book.

PS- I hate spiders too.

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Post by Ginnamassa19 » 22 Jul 2018, 03:40

Oh man, I love animals and books about animals, so this seemed like a book my younger self would have *loved* to read! (It reminds me of this other book called Why Pandas Do Handstands: And Other Curious Truths About Animals by Augustus Brown, which you might enjoy if you liked this one :D) It's a pity about all the errors in this book, though...

Thank you for the detailed critique, I really enjoyed reading it :D

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