Seventeen of the world's oddest creatures share a single characteristic: their pink coloration.
For the opening title in her new series, Keating features weird and wonderful animals ranging from a deep-sea fish made of “gelatinous goo” to a tiny barrel-sponge occupant called a hairy squat lobster. In between, there are relatively familiar species such as hippopotamuses, roseate spoonbills, and Amazon river dolphins and more exotic ones such as the orchid mantis, pink fairy armadillo, and southern blind snake. Each double-page spread introduces a single animal with a photograph on the left and information on the facing page. A paragraph of description is followed by another about some intriguing aspect—perhaps the animal’s aposematic coloration that warns predators off or its hermaphroditic habits. This second paragraph is illustrated with a cartoon and set off with a blobby design feature that repeats in the colorful page backgrounds. Sidebars offer fast facts including name, Latin name, size, diet, habitat, and predators and threats. These texts will challenge the intended audience. They’re full of interesting but likely unfamiliar terms: carrion, deforestation, eusocial, negative phototaxis. These are printed in boldface in the text and defined in context and in a glossary. There are helpful suggestions for further research. Habitat ranges on an unlabeled world map are keyed to an alphabetical list of the animals, but there’s no index.
An intriguing approach for animal-fact enthusiasts. (Informational picture book. 7-11)