Saturday, January 19, 2019

Review: Weird Animals by Mary Kay Carson

Weird Animals by Mary Kay Carson. 24 p. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., January, 2019. 9781354929673. (Review of finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

Sometimes, readers want just the facts. There may be no patience or desire for flowing narrative nonfiction. Enter expository nonfiction to explain and describe in an appealing manner. 

Weird Animals does just that beginning with its intriguing, even humorous cover. The end-pages continue to pique interest with close-ups of two unusual animals peering right out of the book. A short introduction explains the "why behind the weird," followed by a page explaining the layout of each entry. Each begins with a series of questions in which certain words are color coded green, blue and red. A crisp, clear, full-color photo of the animal is centered on the page with three color-coded sentences arranged around the photo. A yellow box at the bottom of each page provides the animal type, scientific name, size and habitat. A few, such as the Red-Lipped Batfish (who adorns the cover) and Pink Fairy Armadillo, get double-page spreads. All are fascinating and may be just the ticket to inspire young zoologists. 

A glossary and index are the only backmatter. Suggestions for further reading or relevant websites might have added research value. Small quibble. Younger readers will be entranced by these unusual animals and will want to share with friends. 

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