Many animals have creative and often startling ways of changing appearance, whether for attracting a mate, fending off predators, or luring prey.
Jenkins and Page write that “visual display—flashing a bright color, performing a dance, glowing in the dark, even blowing up like a balloon—is the most common way an animal says, ‘Look at me!’ ” Jenkins’ trademark vividly colored, collaged illustrations stand out strongly on white backgrounds, showing a large diversity of animals and birds in threatening or mating display, grouping them together by type of display. Children will be fascinated by their ingenuity: There’s the male hooded seal that inflates a red nasal sack; the magnificent frigatebird, which puffs up a bright red pouch on his throat to attract females; and the pufferfish and common toad, which both inflate their whole bodies to scare off predators. The bright colors of both a range of sea slugs, most poisonous, and poison dart frogs warn their enemies. Some of these animals are straight out of a horror movie, such as the sarcastic fringehead fish, which bares terrifying rows of teeth, and the mandrill, with its lurid grimace of rage. Concise descriptions on each page introduce the animals, and a glossary gives more detailed information about each species.
Animals with fake eye spots, glowing lures, putrid flesh, and stinky glands will fascinate kids who love weird and wonderful science. (Informational picture book. 6-12)