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Open Wide!: A Look Inside Animal Mouths    by Catherine Ham order for
Open Wide!
by Catherine Ham
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2012 (2012)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Here's an unusual picture book and one that looks at the animal world from a different perspective. All the animals pictured in the book have their mouths wide open. This means you'll see a range of huge teeth and tiny teeth, as well as wide mouths and narrow ones.

While a lion cub yawns, the prairie dog on the opposite page is pictured giving a warning call to his burrow mates. And that's just the beginning. Otters, raccoons, frogs, bats, monkeys, zebras, elephants, leopards, hippos, seals, turtles, a range of birds and even some amphibians all open wide to give you a dentist's eye-view of this part of their anatomy.

The rhymed text that accompanies each color photo fills the reader in on some of the critter's characteristics. You'll discover that the ostrich sometimes opens his mouth wide to pant because in hot weather that's how he cools himself down. Penguins don't have teeth but rather toothlike barbs that point backwards and help them grip and force slippery food down their gullets.

I think if I were a children's dentist I would definitely purchase a couple of copies of this book and have it in my waiting room. Young patients would find the book fascinating.

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