So why did I immediately add all of the, undeniably paperback, Animal Bites series to my order cart?
This is a new series from Animal Planet and I received two titles for review. Ocean Animals and Polar Animals. Each book begins with a guide to use - the book is arranged by colored tabs, jumping back and forth between the different sections. One spread may explore an animal's habitat, like creatures that live in volcanic vents and is marked with the "where they live" tab while another focuses on a specific animal, such as the Siberian husky. There are colorful spreads comparing different types of penguins, and stunning photos of animals in their habitats in the "vista" section. Most spreads include a few sentences in large, bold type with additional facts, information, and fun extras in smaller type. Each book also contains some simple activities, resources (including places to visit, websites, and other Animal Planet books), glossary, index, and photo credits.
The books cost roughly $8 with my library jobber discount and have a sewn paperback binding and thick, glossy pages.
So, why break my rules for these books? First, because unlike many paperbacks they have a thicker spine, so they won't get lost on the shelf. The spine is wide enough to hold the title and is in an eye-catching green. Secondly, because I have realized that my animal section (well, ALL my nonfiction to be brutally honest) is sadly outdated and I simply don't have the funds to replace it all. I'm going to have to compromise a little to get those empty shelves filled and those tattered and dirty books from the 80s withdrawn. Thirdly, because these are exactly the type of books kids love to pore over, especially in the summer. They're full of photos and facts, easy to read, perfect for browsing. In short, these are gateway books to further reading and exploring the world!
Verdict: Break the rules and give these books a chance. Even if they only last one summer, it will be money well-spent. In addition to the two titles here, Wild Animals and Farm Animals are coming out this June.
Published 2016 by Animal Planet; Review copies provided by publisher; Donated to the library