Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ANIMALS EAT THE WEIRDEST THINGS by Diane Swanson

ANIMALS EAT THE WEIRDEST THINGS

By Diane Swanson (Author) , Terry Smith (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8050-5846-X
Publisher: Henry Holt

A people’s-eye-view of the strange and unusual eating habits found in the animal kingdom; children will be drawn to the disgusting realm of meals made of spit, vomit, cigarettes, skin, and dandruff, just to name of few. Swanson is not subtle; among the chapter headings are “Ooze, Vomit and Dung,” “Blood, Skin, and Cast-Off Parts,” “Rotting Flesh and Bones.” Common and little-known facts burst forth; vampire bats suck blood, the hawfinch dines on cherry pits, puffins eat whale dung, and porcupines munch sweaty wood. The chapters are clearly organized topically, but a dearth of subheadings and a profusion of sidebars makes for intimidating spreads. One creature per spread is singled out for illustration, so many animals may be mentioned—e.g., the lammergeier, the Lapland longspur—but not fully identified. The author’s meticulous research is evident here; despite the poor layout and arrangement of text, children will “eat up” the gross-me-out notions and digest good scientific information. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)