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WOW, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT! by Emma Dods

WOW, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT!

Surprising Facts About Animals

by Emma Dods ; illustrated by Marc Aspinall

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7534-7117-3
Publisher: Kingfisher

Surrounded by pithy commentary, dozens of common animals bound, stride, swim or otherwise pose against high-contrast monochrome backdrops in this unvarnished attempt to amaze.

Both facts and factoids are offered in a mix of floating text blocks and undulating lines in a larger size. The tidbits of natural history range from peculiar features (“Goats have rectangular pupils!”) to notes on common sizes or weights, feats of speed or migratory travel. Much of the need-to-know “information” centers on alimentary issues, such as the amount of poop an elephant produces every day (110 pounds) and how long it takes a gobbled-down fly to travel through a hummingbird (10 minutes). But the author provides no source notes to expand on or back up her claims. Furthermore, though Aspinall arranges his smiling but recognizably depicted creatures in loosely thematic groups with the occasional paw or tail serving as transition to the next spread, there is no sense of closure; a tiger’s face cut off by the gutter on the last page brings the presentation to an abrupt end.

High-interest topic; low-budget production.

(Informational picture book. 4-7)