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Friday, March 1, 2013

Review: Deadly Adorable Animals

Deadly Adorable Animals
Nadia Higgins
Lerner Publishing Group

Target Audience:  Age 9-14 

Over Facebook, old and young people share photos of these adorable creatures.  They're all cute, photographed in a certain way--giant otters, slow lorises, long-tailed weasels, bottle-nosed dolphins, puffer fish, house cats, golden poison dart frogs, polar bears, platypuses, giraffes, swans and chimps--but watch their behavior long enough, and you'll note disturbing behavior.

This book is genius.  It introduces the animals with an adorable (targeting a substantial young female audience) and flips the scenario where the animal directly or indirectly is doing something not so adorable--generally deadly for some hapless creature or other (which targets the other gender although your results may vary).  The genius is in how the author targets the broadest swath of interest in animals and brings them together in one book.   The otter attacks fish; the lorises, birds; and weasels, rabbits.  Some of the creatures surprise you.  I myself have witnessed friendly seeming dolphins pacing the ship I sailed on.  But they apparently attack porpoises.  The cat example is indirect and an excellent method to introduce young readers to microorganisms.  Other surprises await.

The back of the book has a section of websites, leading young readers to other fascinating animal behaviors.  This is highly recommended for most elementary libraries and classrooms.  Readers fascinated with animals are bound to love this one.  Undoubtedly, such readers will be eager to share their knowledge of animal behavior with parents and friends.

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