Even More Lesser Spotted Animals
More Brilliant Beasts You Never Knew You Needed to Know About
by Martin Brown
Scholastic, 2019. First published in the United Kingdom in 2019. 52 pages.
Even More Lesser Spotted Animals is, not surprisingly, a sequel to Lesser Spotted Animals, which I reviewed in 2017 and booktalked in the elementary schools.
I’ve got a soft spot for Martin Brown’s illustrations. He’s the illustrator of the Horrible Histories books that my son devoured when he was in elementary school. As in Horrible Histories, he puts comical speech bubbles in the illustrations and makes them tremendously entertaining. He also knows how to pull out the most interesting information to kids.
Like its predecessor, this book focuses on species and subspecies that nobody ever talks about. Many of them have entertaining quirks. The forest musk deer, for example, is a deer that sits in trees. And the dingiso is a kangaroo that lives in trees. Then there are sengis, which are as small as a guinea pig with a nose and appetite like an anteater.
In this book, I learned about the existence of both kangaroo rats and rat kangaroos. You might think bears are too common to appear in this book, but did you know that the Syrian Brown Bear doesn’t live in Syria? It is also vulnerable to extinction. The maned wolf is not actually a wolf, but a dog that looks like a fox with long legs.
Those are some of the interesting animals this book explores, with a spread for each animal and a box of basic facts about each one. The fun parts are the cartoons that occur throughout the book. Give this book to a child who enjoys animal facts, and they’ll absorb all kinds of information. An entertaining way to learn. And as the author says in the Introduction, “But how can we help something survive if we don’t even know it exists?”
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