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CUTE AS AN AXOLOTL by Jess Keating


Discovering the World's Most Adorable Animals

by Jess Keating ; illustrated by Dave DeGrand

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5247-6447-0
Publisher: Knopf

A dynamic introduction to 17 of the world’s most adorable creatures.

Keating and DeGrand’s follow-up to Pink Is for Blobfish (2015) and What Makes a Monster? (2017) highlights still more unusual animals. Each double-page spread is dedicated to one particular animal and has four consistent features. On the verso is a large, stock photograph underneath the phrase “Cute as an [ANIMAL].” On the recto is a paragraph with a brief overview of what makes the animal notable; a sidebar with a rundown of the animal’s Latin name, size, diet, habitat, and predators and threats; and a brightly colored pull-out paragraph highlighting a particularly intriguing fact and paired with a cartoonlike illustration from DeGrand. Animals included range from the mandatory (pygmy hippopotamus, fennec fox) to the surprising (pom-pom crab, blue dragon sea slug). Close-up photographs provide excellent detail but don’t provide a realistic scale, especially for the smaller animals, and thus the animals that are cute in part due to their size lose some of their cuteness. A concluding spread explores “the science of cute,” and potentially unfamiliar vocabulary words are highlighted throughout in bold, leading to a glossary in the back. Keating’s chipper voice always shines through (“With its perma-smile and fuzzy face, the QUOKKA is fast becoming one of the world’s best-known cutie-pies”).

A highly engaging overview that will have readers eager to learn more.

(Informational picture book. 7-11)