Animals Nobody Loves

( 2 )

Overview

In 26 giant photographs-of a roaring grizzly, a piranhas razor-sharp teeth, a rattlesnakes poisonous fangs- Seymour Simon reveals the truth about nature's most misunderstood animals and lets the reader decide what to really think about natures grossest, fiercest, and most fascinating survivors.

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Overview

In 26 giant photographs-of a roaring grizzly, a piranhas razor-sharp teeth, a rattlesnakes poisonous fangs- Seymour Simon reveals the truth about nature's most misunderstood animals and lets the reader decide what to really think about natures grossest, fiercest, and most fascinating survivors.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In an introduction to twenty animals with bad reputations, Seymour Simon asks readers to examine our prejudices and biases. You may never love a rattlesnake or a cockroach but perhaps you can understand and appreciate them for what they are. Simon's short takes on bats, octopuses, spiders, hyenas, fire ants and the like consist of two or three paragraphs about appearances, behaviors, habitats, reasons for the bad reputations and some facts or anecdotes. Simon does not follow any format but comments about aspects that interest him, which provides the reader with interesting facts but not enough information for use in report writing. Photographs are dramatic and appropriately gory when discussing buzzards or hyenas, for instance, and are clear in color and well focused. Occasionally one wishes for a label—is that a black widow spider or some other? What kind of bat is it that can carry off a mouse? These quibbles aside, Simon's book will feed some fears and allay others—yes, piranhas can strip a body in seconds, says Simon—and may spur children to seek further information. There is no index or endmatter to support the learner but the ending question asks readers if they've changed their minds about any animals as a result of this information and why—a good discussion starter and one worthy of continued consideration. 2001, SeaStar Books, $15.95 and $15.88. Ages 8 to 10. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
Kirkus Reviews
Prolific science-writer Simon provides a brief portrait of 24 animals he says nobody loves, noting in his introduction: "You may never love a rattlesnake, a cockroach, or an octopus-but this book may help you begin to understand and respect them for what they are." Included are the shark, bat, grizzly bear, cobra, spider, cockroach, piranha, and 14 other animals. Each gets a double-paged spread and a glossy, full-color photograph. The text provides odd facts and brief information, though without sources. For example, "In India, alone, cobras are reported to kill thousands of people each year, more than sharks all over the world do in fifty years." Or in discussing the vulture's powerful eyesight: "They can sometimes spot a dying animal forty miles away." Sometimes he gives advice: "If the bear is close or does see you, remain calm. Do not run. Instead, stand tall or back away slowly and wave your hands and speak loudly." Despite his introduction, Simon seldom notes the value of these disliked animals. For example, vultures and hyenas are extremely useful decomposers. While the eyeballs-to-eyeballs cover of a tarantula in full color will keep readers reaching for the title, it is useful for browsing rather than research. No index or sources. (Nonfiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587171550
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 7/1/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 129,159
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 10.62 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Seymour Simon the author of over 200 science books for children. More than half of his books have been named Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the National Science Teachers Association. He lives in Great Neck, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2003

    Child Appeal

    High interest book for reading aloud or silently. My tutoring students, boys in grades 2-4, enjoy choosing animals to read about from the table of contents. The amount of text is just right for reading aloud with some challenging words. They enjoy trying to figure out which animal would win if two were pitted against each other--piranha vs. shark, Gila Monster vs. rattlesnake. Highly recommended for children who don't particularly enjoy reading because the content, both text and vivid graphics, are eye-catching yet not overwhelming. Wonderful for teaching reading or as a gift book.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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