Friday 14 October 2016

ReadItDaddy's Second Book of the Week - Week Ending 14th October 2016 - "Lesser Spotted Animals" by Martin Brown (David Fickling Books)

Our Second Book of the Week takes a hilarious and irreverent look at animals. Lesser Spotted Animals, no less...
For all our adulation of non-fiction books that enthral and engage, we also love books that are irreverent and poke fun at the sometimes rather stuffy subject of natural history.

If you can work a few fart gags in there too, or a particularly gross fact about an animal then all the better.

Meet "Lesser Spotted Animals", the new book from Martin Brown whose illustrations will be well known to just about every kid on the planet. He is the artistic genius behind the awesome "Horrible Histories" series, along with Terry Deary, producing something of a modern phenomenon - history books that children really really want to read.

Martin's idea is that certain animals hog the limelight when it comes to natural history books. The same old species are trotted out again and again. Who wants to see yet another book featuring Koalas or Pandas, Elephants or Meerkats. Not us, so bring on the lesser spotted varieties!

Having a hand in revolutionising the way children learn about history, can Martin perform the same trick with animals? You bet he can...!

Inside this hilarious book you'll learn all about animals you've probably never heard of before (but will definitely want to Google about once you've finished this glorious book. From the Zorilla (which actually has nothing to do with, and looks distinctly unlike a Gorilla!) to the wonderfully named Numbat, they're all stars of this hugely original and hilarious book.

There are giggles a-plenty but of course also the very serious message that many (though interestingly not all) of the species covered in the book are endangered, and if we don't do something about it, they'll be even more 'lesser spotted' than before.

Like a razor-witted David Attenborough, Martin turns his observations and awesome art skills on each animal in turn, dishing up a smorgasbord of fascinating facts and habits from the divine to the ridiculous.

Brilliance, a well-deserved book of the week that is both funny and informative in equal measure. Martin is indeed a bit of a genius really!

Charlotte's best bit: After requesting a pet Zorilla, swiftly changing her mind once she learned that they carry a rather distinctive and very strong pong that makes skunks seem tame by comparison.

Daddy's favourite bit: Tons of humour and giggles but always a serious underpinned message urging conservation of most of these dwindling animal species. A truly brilliant way to engage reluctant readers with the subject of zoology though. Ace stuff!

(Kindly sent to us for review by David Fickling Books)

"Lesser Spotted Animals"

Written and Illustrated by Martin Brown

Published by David Fickling Books

Publication Date: 6th October 2016.