Monday, October 27, 2014

Read Scary: Nonfiction Monday: When Lunch fights back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca L. Johnson

This is awesome. It's definitely going to be on my list of "freaky weird animal books" that I take to schools in the spring.

The introduction talks briefly about the life-or-death struggle to survive and references the basic common defenses, but there's so much more out there...

Each chapter begins with a tense narrative of attack and defense, with basic information on the animal and cool photographs. The next section explains the science behind the defense with plenty of quotes from scientists and even some discussion of how the creature's defenses may be used in science.

The animals discussed include a hagfish, African hairy frog, Spanish ribbed newt, termites, hoopoe chicks, fulmar chicks, mantis shrimp, horned lizard, two-spot fish and even black mustard plants. Defenses range from slime and spurting blood to spraying poop and clever chemical ruses.

Back matter includes an author's note, bibliography, print and web sources (including videos of animal defenses in action) an index and source notes.

What sets this book apart from the usual "gross and weird animals!" books that are so popular is the emphasis on the science behind the defenses and the larger context of how the animals and their defenses fit into their habitats and affect the creatures around them. Of course, there's plenty of creepy and gross pictures, which doesn't hurt either!

Verdict: This will certainly appeal to the kids who like the "weird animals" genre, but it's got even more information that will grab science-minded kids and even adults! Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781467721097; Published 2014 by Milbrook/Lerner; Purchased for the library

No comments: