By Margaret Hynes
Kingfisher, $12.99, 64 pages
There is one thing children almost universally like and that is animals. Kids will really love this book. It is chock full of fascinating, fun facts about animals of all kinds. Since there are 1,233,500 species of animals, there are lots to choose from. Ever wonder how many hairs per square inch an otter has? Wonder no more. It is a million. While humans spend about 1/3 of their time sleeping, a giraffe only sleeps 8% of its time, but the little brown bat sleeps 83% of the time. Ever wish you could make someone leave you alone? If you were a regal horned lizard you could squirt streams of foul-tasting blood from your eyes. That would probably do the trick. Have trouble with weight? Nothing compared to the sheep tick which swells to 100 times its unfed volume when it is full. A hagfish, when bitten, releases mucus to make its attacker choke. In one minute, that hagfish can put out enough slime to fill 22 soda cans.
“When it feels threatened, the skipper caterpillar shoots poop pellets at its enemy. These can travel up to 5 feet (1.5 m) through the air, which is the human equivalent of 240 feet (73m).”
This book, with its clean design and simple illustrations, has enough of the ick factor to keeps kids reading and enough fun facts to entertain everyone on a long car trip.
Reviewed by Rosi Hollinbeck
- Release Date: 3/18/2014