Brooks, Jem. Why Do Dogs Smell Butts? And Other Animal Questions Kids Ask! Book Review.

Click here to buy Why Do Dogs Smell Butts? 

There are about 40 animal questions answered in this book. Each page begins with a question such as, “why do zebras have stripes?”. A short explanation is given which often includes a challenging word and its definition. Children would find the questions interesting and have probably often asked such as, why do fireflies glow, why are flamingos pink, and why do ostriches stick their heads in the sand?

Each page has a box at the bottom that asks “Did you know?” Here the reader is exposed to fascinating facts such as – A group of rhinos is called a crash. Giraffes only sleep between 10 minutes in two hours per day. The longest living tortoise in the world was 326 years old.

The style of writing and vocabulary are suited for children in grades 3 to 6. I would suggest that the author use fewer exclamation marks.

There is a photograph for each question. The pictures are all taken from Flickr and are credited at the end of the book. I was disappointed that the author did not do her own photography or artwork.

I think there is a error in “Do Fish Breathe Water?” Which says “Like all other animals, fish need oxygen to survive, but they do not need to ‘breathe’ water to get oxygen like humans need to breathe air.” Shouldn’t that read that they need to breathe water to get oxygen even though it is in a different form?

When writing about vampire bats, the author says “these bats’ feed on horses, cattle, and other livestock, like mosquitoes feed off humans. They are called pretty harmless, but really annoying!” This is incorrect. The bites can cause nasty infections and diseases such as rabies.

Other than these two mistakes, the book was well organized and readable.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages