Synopses & Reviews
Dearand#160;axolotl: Why do you have feathers growing out of your head? Axolotl: They aren't feathersand#8212;they're gills! They let me breathe underwater.
Let's face it. Even as babies, we humans pay close attention to faces. Observing another person's features and expressions tells us whether they are happy, angry, excited, or sad. And when we look at an animal, it's hard not to imagine that its face is communicating human feelings. This isn't true, of course. Squinty eyes, an upturned mouth, or another odd expression is probably there because, in some way, it helps that animal survive. and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Packed with many cooland#160;facts and visuals on where certain animals live and what they eat, this book capturesand#160;twenty-fiveand#160;humorousand#8212;and very trueand#8212;explanations of why animals look the way they do in order to exist in this world.
"Hugely entertaining and just as informative, this guide to 'unusual creatures' (defined by Hearst as an animal 'that makes you stop and say, Ã¢Â€Â˜Whoa, dude! What's up with that?'Â ') proves that truth can be stranger than fiction. Striking an informal and sometimes ironic tone, Hearst introduces species like the echidna, flying snake, and narwhal, describing their physical characteristics, habitats, and behaviors, with tidbits, quizzes, and even poems neatly tucked into the crisp, guidebook-like aesthetic. Each animal appears in a matte illustration that combines naturalistic features with subtle hints of personality. Hearst often has great fun at his subjects' expense ('blobfish: not as cute as the aye-aye,' reads a caption next to the forlorn-looking psychrolutes marcidus) while delivering fascinating insights into what makes each of these animals extraordinary. Ages 8 12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
" A cool compendium of fascinating animals" - Boston Globe/ Best Children's Books of the Year
"We are enthralled by the information and sheer artistry in bookmaking of this compendium of odd living things from around the globe" - Lisa Von Drasek, Early Word, Best Books to Give To Kids You Don't Know Very Well
"This invitingly designed volume featuring 50 eclectic creatures will inspire young readers with enthusiasm for the natural world." - Shelf Awareness for Readers, Starred Review
"Hearst's enthusiasm for his subject... comes through on every page. A terrific conversation starter." - Scientific American
"Hearst's appreciation for the quirkiness of nature shines through, and is reinforced in a concluding note admonishing readers to be kind to the earth" - The Horn Book Magazine
"This handsome volume is a fun-for-all informative compendium." - School Library Journal
"Not cute curios, but the seriously weird, which... make the animals that much more appealing." - Kirkus Reviews
"May well inspire a new generation of budding scientists" - Shelf Awareness for Readers/Best Books of The Year
"Hugely entertaining and just as informative" - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Author Michael Hearst keeps the tone exciting and entertaining, often times breaking into a goofy poem, or throwing in a quirky true or false quiz." - Apartment Therapy
"A really spectacularly inventive, weird, and beautiful book for kids of all ages. Get one for the kid nearest at hand, which might be yourself." - Rick Moody, author of Garden State and The Ice Storm
"A quirky toast to the fascinating, impressively well-adapted freaks among us." - Discover Magazine
andquot;From a skilled team, another intriguing invitation to explore the animal world.andquot;
andquot;Itand#39;s a splendid introduction and a memorable read-aloud for young children.andquot;
* andquot;Loaded with nuggets of information and layered in humor, this is a winning picture book that is sure to inform as well as entertain.andquot;
andmdash;School Library Journal, starred review
* andquot;Jenkinsand#39;s torn-paper creations emphasize the idea of interspecies dialogueandmdash;readers stare face to face with the animals, who happily divulge what makes them special.andquot;
andmdash;Publishers Weekly, starred review
andquot;The language of the questions is funny, varied, and irreverent, and the answers are as personable as they are compactly informative...Though the text is accessible for reading alone, the QandA format is a natural for a lively and unusual readaloudandmdash;funny voices optional but recommended.andquot;
"Building on years of experience in selecting animal facts and creating arresting illustrations, Jenkins surpasses his previous work with an amazing album characterized by clear organization, realistic images and carefully chosen examples. . . . This is a must-purchase for animal-loving families and most libraries."
and#8212;Kirkus, starred review
"This is a beautiful book that belongs in most collections; it will engage browsers for hours, and the many textual features make it an excellent choice for classroom curricula."
and#8212;Booklist, starred review
"With so much to look at, this attractive browsing book will fascinate children thirsty for animal facts."
and#8212;School Library Journal
"In showcasing the riches and peculiarities of the natural world, Jenkins offers plenty to seize (and satisfy) readers' curiosities."
and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This will be an ideal holiday gift for kids who love animals or who love Steve Jenkins booksand#8212;and that amounts to a lot of kids."
and#8212;Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Charts and graphs throughout are as intriguing as the animals themselves; an index of the featured animals is pretty much brilliant, including not just page numbers but size, habitat, and diet."
and#8212;The Horn Book Magazine, starred review
With humor and flair, Michael Hearst introduces the reader to a wealth of extraordinary life-forms. Which animal can be found at the top of Mount Everest, 10,000 feet under the sea, and in your backyard? Which animal poops cubes? Which animal can disguise itself as a giant crab? These fascinating facts and hundreds more await curious minds, amateur zoologists, and anyone who has ever laughed at a funny-looking animal.
The Caldecott Honor-winning duo get face-to-face with unique animals from around the world in this playful exploration of unusual animal facial features.
Award-winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins offers a visual feast in this rich treasury that explores the world around us and the extraordinary creatures that we share it with!
Animals smooth and spiky, fast and slow, hop and waddle through the two hundred plusand#160;pages of the Caldecott Honor artist Steve Jenkinsand#8217;s most impressive nonfiction offering yet. Sections such as and#8220;Animal Senses,and#8221; and#8220;Animal Extremes,and#8221; and and#8220;The Story of Lifeand#8221; burst with fascinating facts and infographics that will have trivia buffs breathlessly asking, and#8220;Do you knowand#160;a termite queen can produce up to 30,000 eggs a day?and#8221; Jenkinsand#8217;s color-rich cut- and torn-paper artwork is as strikingly vivid as ever. Rounding out this bountiful browsersand#8217; almanac of more than three hundred animals is a discussion of the artistand#8217;s bookmaking process, an animal index, a glossary, and a bibliography. A bookshelf essential!
About the Author
Michael Hearst is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and writer. He is a founding member of the band One Ring Zero, whose albums include Planets and As Smart As We Are, and his solo works include Songs for Ice Cream Trucks and Songs for Unusual Creatures. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.