Animal Wise coverReviewed by Melanie Kline

I opened Animal Wise searching for something. I wasn’t sure what exactly, but as the owner of two dogs, a cat, a bearded dragon, and many other various creatures in the past, I was convinced that this book was somehow going to help me understand and communicate with them. I, however, was immensely disappointed.

Animal Wise looks and different species of animals and discusses how these animals, whether pets or wild, communicate with each other and show emotion.

I, personally, was floored that this book basically contained not one iota of information that I did not already know from simply being surrounded by pets at home. It makes perfect sense to me, for example, that when my border collie is chewing a bone and my goldendoodle barks at him, he wants the bone and is about to take it from him. I also know that when my bearded dragon climbs to the top of his “branch” and claws at the top of the tank that he wants me to take him out for a while. These things are common sense, and I certainly didn’t need two-hundred sixty-seven pages of Animal Wise for explanation. Yes, I do not own an elephant or an ape, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that when a momma elephant wraps her trunk around her baby it is either expressing love or protection. The same goes with apes—obviously the bigger stronger apes eat first and “control” the younger ones, and love is expressed by sharing food and “picking” each other.

If you are expecting to learn anything from Animal Wise, you will be sorely mistaken. This is one of the few-and-far-between books that I finished and thought to myself, I can’t believe I spent so much time—that I won’t ever get back—on reading something so useless. Sadly, I don’t recommend this book to anyone who has anything better to do.

Rating: ½☆☆☆☆ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Broadway Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.