Elem./MG – A Curious Collection of Dangerous Creatures

Bayly, Sami. A Curious Collection of Dangerous Creatures. The Experiment, 2021. 978-1-615-19824-5. 125 p. $18.95. Grades 3-8. 

Dangerous…it’s a word that evokes feelings of fear and terror in many individuals. While animals considered or called dangerous can pose some level of threats to humans, they are often misunderstood. Author and illustrator Sami Bayly spotlights some of these creatures and explores how they have adapted to ward off predators with amazing (and yes, dangerous) defense mechanisms. For example, the greater slow loris (a small, tree-dwelling primate native to some countries in Asia), produces toxins in its elbow glands. If you see it licking its armpit/elbow area, watch out! It’s collecting venom that mixes with saliva to create a toxic bite. The geography cone snail lives near coral reefs in the Pacific. From the outside, it looks like a beautiful seashell, but inside lives the world’s most venomous sea snail. One shot of the snail’s venom can kill up to 15 people! These are just two of the 60 creatures profiled in this engaging title. Each entry defines the danger profile for the animal, as well as identifying their habitat, eating habits and conservation status. Particularly noteworthy are Byly’s illustrations. Trained as a natural history illustrator, her detailed watercolor paintings are true works of art and bring the animals to life.
Note: A Curious Collection of Dangerous Creatures was previously published in Australia under the title The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals.

THOUGHTS: This fantastic title will give readers a new appreciation and respect for the ways animals have adapted to survive. Ideal for casual browsers or researchers, readers will find themselves engrossed by the interesting facts presented about each animal and the detailed illustrations. 

591.6 Animals          Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

Elem. – The Science of Animal Movement (Series NF)

Huddleston, Emma. The Science of Animal Movement. Abdo. 2021. Book: $21.95, Series of 6: $131.70. Grades 2-5.

How Birds Fly. 978-1-532-19292-0.
How Bugs Jump. 978-1-532-19293-7.
How Critters Climb. 978-1-532-19294-4.
How Fish Swim. 978-1-532-19295-1.
How Mammals Run. 978-1-532-19296-8.
How Snakes Slither. 978-1-532-19297-5.

The Science of Animal Movement series describes how animals are able to move depending on their body, size, and its surroundings. The Reviewer read How Birds Fly, focusing specifically on birds. How Birds Fly provides information on how the wide category of birds can move in a variety of ways. From the largest of birds, to the smallest, coast to coast and in every possible biome, birds are found and able to move differently compared to others of the same type.

THOUGHTS: This series provides great information on the science behind the movement of animals. The books come with several different information pieces, including large photographs, colorful text, links & QR codes, diagrams, charts, and more.

500s          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem./MG – Animals Back From the Brink (Series NF)

Animals Back From the Brink. Crabtree Publishing, 2020. $14.30 ea. $290.50 set of 14. 32p. Grades 3-6.

Bringing Back the American Alligator. 978-1-549-08040-1.
Bringing Back the Black-Footed Ferret. 978-1-725-44237-5.
Bringing Back the Blue Iguana. 978-1-725-48072-8.
Bringing Back the California Condor. 978-1-725-48073-5.
Bringing Back the Giant Panda. 978-1-549-08041-8.
Bringing Back the Gray Wolf. 978-1-549-08042-5.
Bringing Back the Grizzly Bear. 978-1-549-08043-2.
Bringing Back the Humpback Whale. 978-1-549-08044-9.
Bringing Back the Island Fox. 978-1-725-48074-2.
Bringing Back the Lesser Long-Nosed Bat. 978-1-725-44238-2.
Bringing Back the Mountain Gorilla. 978-1-725-44239-9.
Bringing Back the Snow Leopard. 978-1-725-44240-5.
Bringing Back the Southern White Rhino. 978-1-725-48075-9.
Bringing Back the Whooping Crane. 978-1-549-08045-6.

Readers will discover endangered species around the world. Each book begins with facts about the featured species including its habitat and an introduction to the dangerous factors contributing to extinction. Each book explains the scientific criteria that is used to figure out the levels of threat to each species, the historical and current threat to each species, and the problems environmental groups have had trying to protect them. Each book concludes with an explanation of future protection efforts and what the reader can do to help. The “Learning More” section of each book provides books and websites for the reader to learn more about the specific species featured.

THOUGHTS: A good supplement to an existing collection of  endangered species books and for libraries with patrons interested in this topic.

590 Animals     Jaynie Korzi, South Middleton SD

Elem. – Stink Fights, Earwax, and Other Marvelous Mammal Adaptations

Perdew, Laura. Stink Fights, Earwax, and Other Marvelous Mammal Adaptations. Nomad, 2020. 978-1-61930-960-9. 29 p. $9.95. K-3.

This nonfiction science title describes unique adaptations of various mammals. Whales, for example, have earwax plugs that help them hear better. Elephants use their ears for hearing AND staying cool. Both entertaining and informational, this book presents young readers with facts that will surprise and captivate them. It includes an activity and a glossary for further learning.

THOUGHTS: This would make a great addition to any elementary classroom or library collection. It is an excellent supplemental resource for elementary lessons on evolution and adaptation. This title is actually part of a collection that explores adaptations in other animals, too, including amphibians, fish, birds, and reptiles. Hand this to young scientists and/or animal lovers, and they will be delighted.

599 Mammals          Julie Ritter, PSLA Member