A slickly produced if arbitrarily ordered gallery of nocturnal wildlife, from leopards to the giant desert hairy scorpion, featuring dozens of close-up portraits and quick, easily graspable facts.
Sharply printed on coated paper against, usually, a black background and often angled to face viewers, the dominant central photograph or photorealistically rendered image on each spread creates an immediate visual impact with each turn of the page. Smaller surrounding photos focus on physical or behavioral highlights or introduce related creatures. Captions and comments tucked amid the images supply a browser-friendly mix of standard-issue descriptions and must-know observations. Among the latter: Vampire bats slurp and pee at the same time, owl “eyeballs” (sic) are tube-shaped, and railroad worms “survive by biting the heads off millipedes and sucking out the liquid from inside them!” Good stuff! The simultaneously published Monsters of the Deep offers similar infotainment with a marine cast that includes ratfish, snipe eels and several all-mouth anglerfish among the sharks, whales and other usual suspects.
Tailor-made for budding zoologists as well as casual browsers. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)