#751 – The Secret Lives of Animals by Stacy Tornio, Ken Keffer, & Rachel Riordan – BOOK TOUR

secret lives of animals
The Secret Lives of Animals: 1,001 Tidbits, Oddities, and Amazing Facts about North America’s Coolest Animals

Written by by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer
Illustrated by Rachel Riordan
FalconGuides®     10/01/2015
254 pages     Age 7—12

“Did you know that a grasshopper’s ears are on his belly? Or that a bison can reach speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour? How about the fact that butterflies use their feet to taste? The perfect mix of field guide know-how and armchair entertainment, The Secret Lives of Animals features 128 American animals—from fish to birds to mammals and more—and offers up to 1,001 oddities and tidbits in a fun, colorful, illustrated format that’s exciting for kids to explore on their own or for the whole family to read together.” [back cover]

The Secret Lives of Animals will delight kids who are interested in animals. Divided into seven categories (land invertebrates, water invertebrates, fish, herptiles (reptiles and amphibians), birds, large mammals, and small mammals), and then by state and Canadian province, this beautiful animal compendium will entice adults as well as kids.

dolphinfoxAfter introducing each animal, the authors go right into the “Little-Known Facts,” followed by straightforward information (types, size, what they eat, what eats them, where they can be found). Kids will be intrigued by what “Eats Them,” a section not many field guides include. Then, maybe the best part of this guide is the final section called “Go Outside.” In this easy to spot section, kids are encouraged to step outside and watch ants for 15 minutes, listen to crickets, touch a ray at an aquarium (that allow touching), or simply try to catch animals in their natural habitat and observe them for more than a glance. It is this section that empowers kids—and adults—to get involved in the world around them.


Teachers and homeschooling parents will find The Secret Lives of Animals an interesting guide and chock full of interesting facts to peak kids’ interest in science, animals, and North America. Illustrations are wonderful and catch each animal in all its glory. Not quite on the level of John Sills, Riordan’s art will nevertheless capture the imagination of all who read the book. Speaking of catching your imagination, did you know that hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards? Or that blue marlins can get as big as 2,000 pounds? Try reeling that fish in.


The Secret Lives of Animals, with its easy to read format, interesting and often-strange facts, and encouraging kids to explore their world, beginning with their own backyard, will be a hit with kids interested in animals, science teachers, and parents homeschooling their children.

THE SECRET LIVES OF ANIMALS: 1,001 TIDBITS, ODDITIES & AMAZING FACTS ABOUT NORTH AMERICA’S COOLEST ANIMALS. Text copyright © 2015 by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Rachel Riordan. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, FalconGuides®, New York, NY.

Purchase The Secret Lives of Animals at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksRoman & Littlefield.

Learn more about The Secret Lives of Animals HERE.
Follow the Book Tour forThe Secret Lives of Animals HERE.


ENTER TO WIN! A pair of KEEN shoes, a T-shirt, & The Secret Lives of Animals. But wait, there’s more. If you win, the sponsors will also send a prize package to your friend! (That could be me, okay, maybe not, but your friend will thank you.)  ENTER HERE!


Meet the authors, Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer, at their website: http://destinationnature.net
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Meet the illustrator, Rachel Riordan, at her behance page:  https://www.behance.net/thestaylucky
Find more books at the FalconGuides® website: http://falcon.com
.                 . FalconGuides® is an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield.

Also by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer
The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up
The Truth About Nature: A Family’s Guide to 144 Common Myths About The Great Outdoors
We Love Nature! (A Keepsake Journal for Families Who Love to Explore the Outdoors)

Also by Rachel Riordan
Falcon Guides for Kids
Growing Up Grizzly: The True Story of Baylee and Her Cubs
Funny Trail Tales: Outdoor Humor for All Ages
Dinosaur National Monument (Exploring Series)

Meet the Authors, Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer.
STACY TORNIO is an Oklahoma girl at heart, though she’s lived in Wisconsin for the last 10 years. As editor of Birds & Blooms Magazine, Stacy is able to share her love of backyard nature. Her first book, Cathy’s Animal Garden, takes readers on a picture journey into the neighbor’s scary backyard in search of a homerun baseball. Project Garden, her recent book, is a monthly guide filled with activities to keep the whole family gardening all year long. Along with her husband, Steve, Stacy enjoys watching her two children explore nature in their Milwaukee backyard and on trips up north.

KEN KEFFER was born and raised in Wyoming. A vagabond naturalist, he’s done a little bit of everything, from monitoring mice and vole populations and picking up carnivore scat in Grand Teton National Park to researching flying squirrels in the Tongass National Forest of southeast Alaska, and monitoring Bactrian camels in Mongolia’s Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area. He’s also worked as an environmental educator in Wyoming, northern New Mexico, coastal Maryland, and along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio. Ken enjoys birding, floating on lazy rivers, and fly fishing in the mountains out west.

Courtesy of Worldwind Virtual Book Tours.

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: The Secret Lives of Animals: 1,001 Tidbits, Oddities & Amazing Facts about North America’s Coolest Animals by Stacy Tornio, Ken Keffer, & Rachel Riordan, and received from FalconGuides® (an imprint of  Globe Pequot Press/Rowman & Littlefield), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

THE SECRET LIVES OF ANIMALS. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Rachel Riordan. © 2015 Falcon Guides/Rowman & Littlefield.


7 thoughts on “#751 – The Secret Lives of Animals by Stacy Tornio, Ken Keffer, & Rachel Riordan – BOOK TOUR

  1. I was looking for a good book about animals for my 6 year old son and remembered this review! He loves learning about animals, but he doesn’t like a lot of the animals books that emphasize scary closeup photos over information about the animals. “This book is giving me the creeps, Dada!” he’ll say.

    It looks like this books has some great info, and he’ll probably like the use of illustration instead of photos.


  2. I think my favorite part of this book would be the “Go Outside” part. I love to go outside. Also, I wish my ears were on my belly like a grasshopper. Then I could lick them and Mom wouldn’t have to clean them for me!

    Love and ear licks,


    • What a smart idea—if only you had grasshopper ears. I suppose you’d know right away if you were hungry, but your stomach growls could sound LOUD. I like the “Go Outside” part, too. I go out most nights and play with all the rescue dogs. I’ll post some pictures soon.


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