Title: Animals That Make Me Say Ewwww!
Author: Dawn Cusick
My Two Cents: Remember what I said last week about the so-gross-it’s-awesome factor that can makes some titles so irresistible to young readers? Well hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen, because this is one nonfiction title that truly lives up to its name. We’ve got snot, feces galore, blood, guts and plenty of gunk – everything you could want in a gross-out information book for kids, and a title that will likely appeal to even the most reluctant of readers.
This is definitely an image-heavy book, with stunning wildlife photography balancing the visually-appealing text bubbles, creating a nonfiction text that is engaging, rather than overwhelming. The grossness is largely limited to the text, with the photographs tending towards generic images of each animal (thank goodness – I don’t think my stomach could have handled vivid photographic evidence of some of the more disgusting behaviours).
Animals That Make Me Say Ewww! doesn’t talk down to its audience, using appropriate language like “defecate” and “feces”, and providing scientific explanations for each strange behaviour. While humorous and engaging, this is definitely still a nonfiction book, and children will likely come away from it having actually learned something, amidst the inevitable giggles and gasps.
The author provides a helpful glossary and detailed index to aid with research, and includes a fun “scavenger hunt” extension activity. Part of a series of engaging nonfiction texts for budding biologists, Animals That Make Me Say Ewww! is a comprehensive, yet light-hearted and approachable look at the many weird and wacky wonders of our natural world. Highly recommended…though perhaps not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach…!