Animals That Make Me Say Ewww!
written by Dawn Cusick
2016 (Imagine Publishing)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
There is so much competition for food in the wild that the small amount of energy in a booger is worth eating.
Yes, I just wrote booger. So the gorilla equivalent of an energy drink or gel is nose candy? This and many more animal facts will keep young readers enthralled. Want to hear about flying hippo dung? Instead of using cell phones, hippos send their "thoughts" further out by swatting them with their tails. Marking your territory is big in the hippo world. Ever truly wonder about what happens in a kangaroo's pouch? In over fifty years of living on this earth, I can tell you that I never thought about Mama Kangaroo having to clean her pouch. I'll give you a hint: She's not using baby wipes.
Unlike some other nonfiction animal books in this genre, Animals That Make Me Say Ewww! has a definite scientific purpose for this showcase of gross facts. It's a fascinating biology lesson that can be used in other areas. In the introduction, author Dawn Cusick explains that gorillas and orangutans clean out their nose hor d'oeuvres in order to be able to smell food and predators. Other animals eat feces in order to have plant-digesting bacteria in their bodies. A great point of view lesson can be had here. For humans, these actions are disgusting, but for the animals it is a way to prolong their lives. Want to enliven an activity for teaching cause and effect? Find this book. Your group of readers will not be bored. If you teach symbiosis, there is a wealth of examples and photographs here.
Readers will say Ewww! when reading this book, but they will also say Oh! and Wow! That's the sign of a winning book.