Did you know that a tiny golf ball-sized creature called the blue-ringed octopus contains enough venom to kill 26 adult humans? Or why the Sydney funnel web spider is one of the most dangerous creatures in the world? In this Level 3 book, kids will be fascinated by 12 species that you hope you'll never come across! Sharks, snakes, jellyfish and more—these creatures are among the most threatening—and interesting—in the world!
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The snarling lion on the cover with its orange eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth may give a reader pause to think about these huge cats. The text notes that lions can take down prey ten times their size which is what has earned them the title of kings of the jungle. As readers move through the book, they will learn that red kangaroos are very dangerous as are oak processionary caterpillars and rattlesnakes. Crocodiles are also fearsome and the photo of one attacking a herd of zebras gives an idea of just how ferocious they are. I would not have thought of elephants as among the deadliest animals, but apparently they are quite dangerous when they feel threatened. Several pages are devoted to a variety of deadly snakes which includes those that live on land and those who spend their time in water. Since we have now moved to water, the shark is certainly a deadly animal and so are some rather innocent looking fish like the puffer and other denizens such as the blue-ringed octopus and box jellyfish. Not to be ignored is the poison dart frog and even tiny bees and scorpions can be deadly. What until you find out what the deadliest animal is—I know that I was surprised. The layout uses excellent photographs and has orange stripe running across the top of every page; a bit busy but still appealing. There are also jokes interspersed throughout and most are puns. There is a picture glossary and index in this Level 3 book that is part of the "National Geographic Readers" series targeted to kids who are reading fluently. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot