Nonfiction Wednesday – December 16, 2015

nonfictionNonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2015 is a weekly celebration of imaginative children’s nonfiction materials hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy.

Title: Animals That Make Me Say Ewwww!
Author: Dawn Cusick
Publisher: Imagine
Publication Date: 2016 (on sale March 2016)
Genre/Format: Nonfiction
Publisher’s SummaryPrepare to be grossed out by an engaging and unique look at some of the more disgusting survival techniques from the animal kingdom.
From blood-squirting reptiles to blood-sweating mammals to nose-picking primates, learn about some of the most disgusting creatures in the animal kingdom. Author Dawn Cusick and the National Wildlife Federation compile a volume as attractive as its subject is disgusting.

My Two CentsFrom Disgusting Critters to “….Ewww”, I think I’ve got a bit of theme going on with these nonfiction reviews!

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen, because this is one nonfiction title that truly lives up to its name. We’ve got lots of snot, feces galore, blood, guts and plenty of gunk – everything you could want in a gross-out information book for middle-grade readers!

This is definitely an image-heavy book, with stunning wildlife photography balancing the visually-appealing text bubbles to create 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 this 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 look at the many wonders of our natural world. Highly recommended.

So, which nonfiction books have caught your eye this week?

Note: I received a free digital galley of this book from NetGalley, and have not been compensated in any way for this review.