They Just Know: Animal Instincts

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They Just Know: Animal Instincts
How do some young animals know what to do and how to do it? Does someone teach a caterpillar what to eat? Who gives a baby shark swimming lessons? Sometimes young animals learn things from their parents, but other times… they just know! Explore animal instincts through engaging text and fanciful illustrations.

This nonfiction picture book with a cuddle factor includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 35-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. They Just Know is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension.

Written by Robin Yardi, Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein
32 pg, 8.5 x 10, Ages 4-8, Grades K-3, Lexile: 870, AR: 3.70, F&P: O
Hardcover 9781628556346 $17.95  
Paperback 9781628556391 $9.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628556445 $11.95  
EBook 9781628556599 Purchase Here
Spanish EBook 9781628556643 Purchase Here
Keywords:   animal life cycles, instinct versus learned behaviors, instinct, learned behavior, metamorphosis, life cycle
Animals in the book:   black swallowtails, horn sharks, king snakes, ladybugs, loggerhead sea turtles, and spring peepers
Vetters:   Thanks to Dr. Carrie Kappel, conservation biologist and former youth educator at the Teton Science Schools, for reviewing the accuracy of the information in this book.


The dichotomy between the anthropomorphized scenes and the realistic ones artfully highlights the divide between the animal world and the human one. - Kirkus Reviews

The author's bringing in things that humans would do to babies personalizes it, and makes the final picture of a loving mother with a baby particularly poignant. Laurie Allen Klein's soft illustrations show reality and humorous anthropomorphizing, which opens the book up to a nice fact/fiction discussion. - Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Books

Each double-page spread highlights one of Mother Nature's wonders and offers several facts and a bit of witty wordplay, too...Though the words for this book are strong, the illustrations dominate readers' attention. - The Florida Times Union

Author/Illustrator Info:

Award-winning illustrator Laure Allen Klein’s Dolphins: Learned Behaviors is the first book she has both written and illustrated. Laurie has been a freelance artist for over 30 years, working with a variety of education teams at zoos, marine parks and aquariums creating life-size animal murals, animal ID art, camp field guides, activity books, and posters. Laurie has illustrated The Pangolin Revelation, The Long and Short Tail of Colo and Ruff, Dear Komodo Dragon, Saving Kate's Flowers, Balloon Trees, Fur and Feathers, The Ghost of Donley Farm, If a Dolphin Were a Fish, Little Skink's Tail, Meet the Planets, Solar System Forecast, They Just Know, and Where Should Turtle Be? for Arbordale. Laurie lives in Florida. See more of her artwork at

Robin Yardi approaches life with great wonder, a stack of field guides, and picture books nearby. She's a credentialed elementary school teacher who loves reading to her students and watching the wildlife that pass through her garden, but it was Robin's daughter that inspired her debut picture book They Just Know. Robin lives in Santa Barbara, California with one lovely husband, two muddy kids, a Sulcata Tortoise, eight chickens, and innumerable koi fish. Visit her website at


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