Wild Style: Amazing Animal Adornments

Millbrook. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $27.99. ISBN 9781541581234.
PreS-Gr 3–Grodzicki examines how animals protect themselves from predators and thrive in their environment. The book emphasizes the “wild” factor in both words and illustrations. There are a wide variety of adaptations. The sponge crab is described as having a “yucky taste”; an assassin bug “carries a heap of dead ants” whose insides it has first sucked out; and a golden tortoise beetle larva carries a “stinky umbrella,” which includes fecal matter attached to its spine called an anal fork. The book’s concept relies on the “ick” factor. Explanations of these animal features are reinforced by bright print and bold illustrations. Back matter provides “wild facts” about the “cool creatures” detailed in the book.
VERDICT A possible supplement to animal studies. Educators and caretakers should read the book first before sharing so that they are ready for responses to some of the more unsavory animal attributes such as the beetle’s “poop umbrella.”

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