Reviewed by Kim Harris Thacker: mommy, writer, and Bookshop Talk host
Meet the blobfish (the name says everything), the tardigrade (also known as the water bear or moss piglet), and the yeti crab (named after the legendary yeti due to its oddly hairy legs). In fact, fifty bizarre creatures await the reader in this hilarious, informative book, which is an exemplary resource for reluctant readers who revel in science, the odd, or (ideally) a combination of both.
Readers will laugh their way through memorizing the biological classification taxa using Hearst’s odd mnemonic (“Kids Place Candles On Foot Gravy Sausage”) and won’t stop until they read Hearst’s “A Few Closing Words,” which are suggestions of how young people can help to save unusual and well-known creatures from extinction. The only thing that could possibly improve this book would be an actual photo of each of the odd creatures Hearst references. The illustrations, however, are delightful, as are the other graphics that are found throughout the book.
Though the suggested age range for this book is for children of elementary school years, older readers—including adults—will enjoy it and will appreciate the book’s clear organization (including a table of contents and an index) as well as the lists of websites and additional resources that appear in the “Oh! One More Thing!” section at the end of UNUSUAL CREATURES.