Animals & Nature

Extremely Gross Animals: Stinky, Slimy and Strange Animal Adaptations

  • Published by Kids Can Press, 2021
  • Finalist for 2023 Diamond Willow Award
  • On TD Summer Reading Club Book List

All things disgusting are featured in this weird and wonderful exploration of the grossest of the gross in the animal kingdom. (Barf bag not included!) Snot. Vomit. Spit. Poop. Everyone knows these are gross, right? Well, for some animals, they're crucial ingredients for survival! This book describes more than 30 of these animals, the grossest of the gross, and explores how their habits, as revolting as they might be, help them thrive.

From dung beetles who live for feces, to hagfish who cover themselves in gooey slime to ward off predators, to bullfrogs who can puke up their entire stomachs for cleaning purposes, these animals have novel adaptations that work well for them. It's all so icky. And so awfully interesting! A definite kid pick, the strange-but-true gross factor of this book will appeal to readers at every aptitude level. It's also sure to inspire curiosity about these unusual creatures, many of which will be new to most readers — and about life science in general.

"...The more you read, the more your eyebrows will rise and you’ll be thinking, “Really? That’s amazing! Who knew?” And that’s the point, according to the follow-up notes in the final pages “once you get past the ick response”. There is so much to learn, so much that might be useful to science and still so much more to arouse your curiosity." Gillian Richardson, reviewer, in CM: Canadian Review of Materials, June 2021

ISBN: 9781525303371 (Hardcover)

TOPICS: animals, biology, biodiversity, adaptation

Lizards in the Sky: Animals Where You Least Expect Them

  • Published by Annick Press, 2010
  • Finalist for the 2010 Science in Society Youth Book Award

Fish in trees? Frogs underground? You’d never expect to see a bird at the bottom of a stream. But that’s precisely where the American Dipper hunts for food! Readers will be amazed to discover how the 36 animals featured in this book have learned to live in normally hostile environments.

“...a refreshingly economical way to explore some of the natural world’s more venturesome residents.” Booklist, Dec. 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55451-264-5 (Paperback)
List Price: $12.95 CAD

ISBN: 978-1-55451-265-2 (Hardcover)

TOPICS: biology, biodiversity, adaptation, habitat

Spiked Scorpions & Walking Whales: Modern Animals, Ancient Animals, and Water

  • Published by Annick Press, 2009
  • Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2010 Best Books for Kids and Teens
Following in the steps of Super Crocs & Monster Wings, this book looks at six different groups of animals linked with the place where all life began – the water. They include the 110-million-year-old platypus, which survived the destruction of the dinosaurs, and the mysterious colossal squid, a creature of the ocean depths that few humans have ever seen. Sea scorpions as large as crocodiles once flourished in ancient seas.

Today, their smaller cousins survive in the driest deserts. Geese are at home in both water and air. But their ancient relative, the so-called Demon Duck of Doom, was a giant, flightless Australian bird with legs built for walking and a beak the size of a suitcase.

ISBN: 978-1-55451-205-8 (Paperback)
List Price $9.95 CAD

ISBN: 978-1-55451-206-5 (Hardcover)

TOPICS: marine, palaeontology, geology, earth history, evolution, adaptation

Super Crocs & Monster Wings: Modern Animals’ Ancient Past 

  • Published by Annick Press, 2008
  • Winner of the 2008 Science in Society Youth Book Award, given by the Canadian Science Writers' Association.
It’s hard to imagine, but about 99% of all the species that ever lived on Earth are already extinct. Some died off suddenly during global catastrophes. Others gradually disappeared as the world changed. But some animals didn’t vanish altogether, and their distant relatives still live among us today. What were these ancient animals like? In a word, surprising. Ground-dwelling sloths were so tall they could nibble the leaves in treetops. Rabbit-sized camels scampered through the underbrush. Giant dragonflies the size of hawks were masters of the skies, swooping down on flies as big as chickadees.

“Without compromising clarity or accuracy, this book provides a 'wow' scientific experience.” Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA, in School Library Journal, June 2008

ISBN: 978-1-55451-130-3 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1-55451-129-7 (Paperback)
List Price: $9.95 CND

TOPICS: palaeontology, geology, earth history, evolution, adaptation