NONFICTION

Birding Is My Favorite Video Game: Cartoons About the Natural World from Bird and Moon

illus. by Rosemary Mosco. 112p. index. Andrews McMeel. Apr. 2018. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781449489120.
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Gr 5 Up—Though it's petite to the point of pocket-size, this volume is packed with information on fantastic fauna and hilarious riffs on weird animal behaviors. Mosco's affection for the animal kingdom comes through on every page as she creates a digger wasp's online dating profile or celebrates the turkey vulture's projectile vomiting abilities. She makes it look easy—though the pages are chock-full of colorful, cartoonish animals, each creature is detailed enough to be identifiable as a specific species, which is important when a brown creeper, a nuthatch, and a yellow-bellied sapsucker are bonking into one another, slapstick-style, on the trunk of a tree. Webcomics often transfer clumsily from screen to page, but this collection escapes that trap. Mosco's enthusiasm may well spark readers' interest in ornithology, entomology, or herpetology—the only disappointment is that it isn't twice as long.
VERDICT Written with an older audience in mind, the book nonetheless promises to amuse middle grade and YA readers while giving them facts to surprise, gross out, and boggle parents and peers for days.

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