By: Nadia Higgins
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: January 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2013
There are a lot of animals that look cute and cuddly. We’ve all snuggled up to a cuddly animal now or reached down to give a puppy or a kitten a scratch behind the ear. How about doing the same thing to a chimpanzee, a giant otter, or a slow loris? Think again because you could get seriously injured because “adorable doesn’t mean nice.” The giant otter of South America is one of those really cute animals that simply begs to be taken home and put in your bathtub. They are pack hunters and the “mauling, thrashing, gnawing, and generally tearing apart other animals,” is part of their nature. They kill to eat and they do it well.
Perhaps you’ve heard of that chimpanzee that seriously mauled a woman. These critters are not pets, but rather wild animals. They have “razor-sharp teeth and superhuman strength” and don’t hesitate to protect themselves or crunch up a monkey for lunch. Yes, they are meat eaters. In this book, you’ll learn how you can protect yourself just in case you are attacked. Better safe than sorry! Giraffes are another one of those adorable animals, but when it comes down to protecting themselves, they sure know how to do it. You’ll learn just how they protect themselves and you’ll also learn about several other adorable, but deadly creatures including slow lorises, long-tailed weasels, bottlenose dolphins, puffer fish, house cats, golden poison dart frogs, polar bears, platypuses, and swans.
This is a fascinating look at some adorable, but very deadly animals. Many of the animals featured in this book are tops when it comes to cute, but with a close-up, candid look, they aren’t quite as appealing. The dialogue is casual and sometimes humorous, but sends the message that certain critters aren’t to be messed with. The “adorable” factor jumps off the page when it’s highlighted in deep red. For example, when taking a look at the golden poison dart frogs, we can agree that the “critter is just soooo little” and oh so cute and deadly. There are numerous informative sidebars interspersed throughout the book and full-color photographs (some action). In the back of the book is an index and additional recommended book, video, and website resources to explore. There are additional complementary education resources on the publisher’s website.
Quill says: If you love adorable critters, you'll probably like learning about some of their behaviors that are far from adorable!