Video Review of Wild Venezuela: The Capybara

Video Review

Wild Venezuela: The Capybara case image

Melly is always looking for more information about capybaras, and who can blame her? The real question is, why isn’t there more available? Some things are just too difficult to understand. At any rate, she did find this video, Wild Venezuela: The Capybara on and was too excited not to buy it.

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Rodent Reader (Quarterly)


Gari, the Rodent Reader

Guess what? I’m in a magazine! It’s called the Rodent Reader Quarterly and it’s all about rodents!

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Book Review: Capybara: The World’s Largest Rodent

Capybara: The World’s Largest Rodent (Super Sized!)
by Natalie Lunis

Book Type: Juvenile, non-fiction (ages 4 -8)
Date of publication: 2009
Publisher: Bearport Publishing


Topics covered include:

  • A Really Big Rodent
  • Wet, Grassy Homes
  • Big Teeth
  • Noisy Groups
  • Bringing Up Babies
  • Extra-Large Enemies
  • Everybody into the Water!
  • Sneaky Swimmers
  • Rodent Ranches

The book’s format is that each left-hand page contains up to about 80 words of text and one to three small photos with the opposing page having a single large photo on the same topic.

Interior page of Capybaras: The World's Largest Rodent

Interior page of Capybaras: The World's Largest Rodent

Owner’s Review:

This book is more for the lower end of the age range rather than the higher. The text is informative, as far as it goes, which is not very far. All of the data is correct, the layout is nice and the photos are wonderful. In fact, I’d buy it for the photos alone. But I don’t think the text is entertaining enough for very young and it is not informative enough for the older children.

Caplin’s Review:FiveGreenPaws_tiny

I liked this book. As my owner said, the photos are really great! There is one of a capybara jumping into the water that is just the perfect action shot. The photo of the jaguar looked just as fierce and terrifying as those awful cats really are. And photos of the baby capys with their moms were so sweet. I also liked the way the little facts were framed in capybara fur. There wasn’t much text but what it said was a pretty good description of us capybaras.

Book Review: The World’s Oddest and Most Wonderful Mammals, Insects, Birds and Plants


The World’s Oddest and Most Wonderful Mammals, Insects, Birds and Plants: Of Kinkajous, Capybaras, Horned Beetles, Seladangs
by Jeanne K. Hanson and Deane Morrison

Book Type: Non-fiction, general knowledge
Date of publication: 1997
Publisher: Konecky & Konecky


This book covers a wide variety of living things, more than are mentioned in the title since it mysteriously omits reptiles. Most entries have about a page of text and cover the topic at a superficial level. I imagine it’s intention is just to instill a sense of wonder and curiosity in the reader and to encourage them to learm more about the entries the like the best.  Some of topics are:

  • How to choke a tree – about strangler figs
  • Insect impersonators – about orchids that mimic insects
  • The barking pika – about a cute little lagomorph that barks
  • An artichoke on legs – about pangolins
  • Can black widow spiders and trantulas actually kill you?
  • The smartest birds – about ravens

This is just a tiny fraction of the topics.

Owner’s Review: GreenHands3

This book certainly has its interesting points. And the breadth of the topics covered is amazing.  But there is no depth to anything so if you’re pretty familiar with biology and wildlife, there won’t be a lot in here for you. I think it is probably best for a middle-school child with an interest in biology.  Some of the topics are covered more than once, but if you’re just randomly skimming and stopping at what interests you, that’s probably not an issue.

I wouldn’t trust this book as a definitive source of information however. The section on kangaroo rats contains the following quote, “Like all other rodents, it has sweat glands only on its toe pads…” Well, Caplin is a rodent and I can tell you that he sweats a lot, and not just from his toes. When he sleeps under the covers on warm nights, there is sometimes a little puddle of water. And not a few people have commented that his back is wet from sweating when we take him out in public on a hot day.

One thing I found annoying is that the titles of the sections do not mention the name of the animal. For example, what the heck is a seladang? Can I find out about it by reading Fantastic Sharks, The Most Dangerous Flower, Astounding Hibernations or none of the above? And there is no index. Luckily the capybara blurb is titled The World’s Largest Rodent, but if I didn’t know what a capybara was, that wouldn’t help.

Caplin’s Review:FiveGreenPaws_tiny

I liked this book. There was all kinds of stuff I didn’t know. Beetles can have horns? Wow! And a seladang is a fancy name for a type of cow! Who knew that? Not me. Plus plants can disguise themselves to look like insects. I am glad they can’t make themselves look like capybaras! On the other hand, maybe that would be cool.

I especially liked the part about capybaras. It was less than a page, which was a bit disappointing, but there was this cute capybara drawing.

Illustrations by Glenn Wolff

Illustrations by Glenn Wolff

That’s not a bad likeness of us. But the thing I liked best about the capybara entry was that it said that our sound is a “tweedle-tweet.” My owner never says I make that sound but I do. And anyway, it is that way Bill Peet described the sounds that Capyboppy made and Capyboppy is my hero.

My Friends Elizabeth & Emily: Balloon Makers

Emily & Elizabeth with Balloon Capybara

Emily & Elizabeth with Balloon Capybara

I have some of the most amazing friends in the world…and they’re not even all capybaras! I’d like you to meet two special friends, Emily and Elizabeth. Sure, they are cute human kids and we have that cute thing in common, but we also share another special attribute.

Elizabeth & Emily also have their own book! Seriously! (Probably their mom takes credit for their book just the way my owner takes credit for mine. That is lame.)

Did you notice what they are holding in the photo? It is a balloon capybara! Sadly, it turns out that capybaras are very hard to render in balloon. I think they did a pretty good job though. I especially like the color they chose. But the picture should give you a hint as to what their book is about. It is a instruction guide on how to make balloon animals. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

You can read more about them, their book and their fun encounters with everyone’s favorite capybara (me) on their blog. The title of their book is Kids Show Kids How to Make Balloon Animals. It’s a great idea for children’s parties and other events.

I think it would be fun if y’all would try to beat Emily & Elizabeth’s capybara-balloon rendition and send me photos of your creations. I’ll add the photos to this post. Come on! Let’s see how creative my fans can be.