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Children's Nonfiction Zoology

Acting Wild

How We Behave Like Birds, Bugs, and Beasts

by (author) Maria Birmingham

illustrated by Dave Whamond

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Aug 2019
Zoology, Biology, General, Daily Activities
Recommended Age
7 to 10
Recommended Grade
2 to 6
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2019
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


How are humans different from other animals? This is a question scientists have long tried to answer. As it turns out, some of the very things researchers once though distinguished humans—our creativity, our problem-solving ability, our capacity for planning or abstract thought—actually make us very similar to other animals! This nonfiction book introduces several different behaviors that humans and other animals share, including farming, teaching, laughing, building, mourning, communicating, grooming, playing, traveling, using tools, and working together.

Narrated by a funny and friendly ant, this book is packed with humor and playful phrasing to bring lightness to the exploration of animal behavior. Brought to life by bright and wacky cartoon-style illustrations, Acting Wild will leave kids with the understanding that acting like an animal is simply in their nature.

About the authors

MARIA BIRMINGHAM is a longstanding contributor to OWL and Chickadee magazines, and the award-winning author of several books for young people, including Acting Wild, Biometrics, and A Beginner's Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars. Maria lives in Brampton, Ontario.


Maria Birmingham's profile page


DAVE WHAMOND a illustré plus de 25 albums jeunesse, dont la série Margot et My Think-a-ma-Jink. Quand ses enfants étaient petits, il leur lisait des livres de Robert Munsch et rêvait d’en illustrer un! Dave habite avec sa famille à Calgary, en Alberta.


DAVE WHAMOND is the creator of Oddrey and My Think-a-ma-Jink, both winners of the Blue Spruce Award. He illustrated the Robert Munsch book Braids! He also has a syndicated cartoon strip called Reality Check, which appears daily in a number of North American newspapers. Dave lives in Calgary, Alberta.


Dave Whamond's profile page


  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
  • Short-listed, Diamond Willow Award

Editorial Reviews

"Acting Wild is a wonderfully wacky look at how we behave an awful lot like the birds, bugs and beasts that we share the planet with."

The Globe and Mail

"A fun, well-designed book, [that] sets the tone for understanding our place in the natural world."

Canadian Review of Materials

"Fascinating, and just what intrigued kids need to do further research."

Sal's Fiction Addiction

"Chock full of interesting ideas, this entertaining and informative selection's distinct focus makes it stand out."

Kirkus Reviews

"[The author] presents a large amount of zoological information in a focused, well-organized, and highly entertaining manner."

Quill & Quire

Other titles by Maria Birmingham

Other titles by Dave Whamond