Dangerous Creatures (Kingfisher Knowledge Series)

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KFK Dangerous Creatures brings some of the world's most ferocious or venomous animals almost too close for comfort! Discover the "weapons" that many creatures carry-from the deadly bite of the malaria-carrying mosquito to the enormous size, weight, and sheer muscle power of the grizzly bear Learn about the astonishing way chimpanzees hunt other primates and find out just how deadly some tiny spiders can be.

Describes various kinds of dangerous animals, such as lions,...

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KFK Dangerous Creatures brings some of the world's most ferocious or venomous animals almost too close for comfort! Discover the "weapons" that many creatures carry-from the deadly bite of the malaria-carrying mosquito to the enormous size, weight, and sheer muscle power of the grizzly bear Learn about the astonishing way chimpanzees hunt other primates and find out just how deadly some tiny spiders can be.

Describes various kinds of dangerous animals, such as lions, piranhas, killer bees, and vampire bats.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This fabulous book gives the reader a sense of adventure from the first page to the last. This book is filled with amazing, remarkable facts that are probably not well known. The reader will learn about creatures with dangerous teeth and claws, venomous creatures, and small deadly creatures. Did you know that the grizzly bear is one of the most dangerous animals in North America? He can kill a moose and break the neck of most large animals with just one blow of its paws. Some animals, such as killer chimps, work in groups to kill their prey. They have a complex hunting strategy that blocks, ambushes and chases their prey right into their hands. A venomous creature, the taipan snake, is the most poisonous land snake in the world. Its venom can kill as person within 45 minutes! A blue-ringed octopus is only about 8 inches in size but contains enough poison to kill ten people. The Palestine yellow scorpion's poison is more powerful than a cobra's venom. The reader will be fascinated at the facts as well as the photographs in this book. There are websites and other sources listed throughout the book for more information. A glossary is at the end to help the reader understand more. The book could be used for extra information in the classroom. 2003, Kingfisher/Houghton Mifflin, Ages 8 to 15.
— Cathi I. White
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753456224
  • Publisher: Kingfisher
  • Publication date: 10/24/2003
  • Series: Kingfisher Knowledge Series
  • Pages: 63
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela Wilkes is an award-winning writer and editor renowned for lively, engaging books children read over and over again. She excels in presenting information in an original and straightforward way — a gift that has been recognized by children and parents alike across the world. Her long list of titles spans a diverse range of topics including My First Nature Book, Simple Science, The Big Book of Dinosaurs, My World, Your World, and The Best Book of Ballet.

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Table of Contents

Foreword     6
Tooth and claw     7
Deadly weapons     8
Stealth and speed     10
Massive strength     12
Teamwork     14
Killer chimps     16
Danger from the skies     18
Danger in the water     20
Ocean hunters     22
Summary     24
Venomous creatures     25
Venomous creatures     26
Feared snakes     28
Poisonous fangs     30
Venomous skin     32
A deadly bite     34
Underwater stingers     36
Tentacles     38
Summary     40
Small but deadly     41
Small but deadly     42
Sinister spiders     44
Stinger in the tail     46
Fierce fish     48
Killer bees     50
Spreading disease     52
Vampire bats     54
Rats     56
Summary     58
Glossary     59
Index     62
Acknowledgments     64
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Reading Group Guide

Reading Comprehension

Give your students time to read the book on their own or in small groups. To get a sense of

their understanding and how much they are learning and retaining, use the chapter

summaries to open discussions. It is easy to turn the straightforward review sentences in

these summaries into questions to pose to your students. For example:

l Chapter 1, page 24: "Tooth and Claw": Ask your students to discuss how different

dangerous animals stalk and kill their prey.

l Chapter 2, page 40, "Venomous Creatures": Talk about how and why different

animals use poisons to kill their prey.

l Chapter 3, page 58, "Small But Deadly": The smallest of dangerous animals can also

www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com 1 of 8 Copyright © 2004 Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

be the deadliest. Discuss how small animals can inadvertently transmit deadly diseases


Language Arts:

m Uses reading skill and strategies to understand a variety of informational texts.

m Summarizes and paraphrases information in texts.

m Draws conclusions and makes inferences based on explicit and implicit texts.

m Uses new information to adjust and extend personal knowledge base.

Map Studies

Hang a "Where Do Dangerous Animals Live?" map in the room. Have the students research

more fully the habitat of each animal they read about.

For example, they should find out where in Africa the African hunting dogs live and where in

North America you find the grizzly bear. Have them create a chart of dangerous animals and

the places they inhabit. Then they should put Post-its with the animal's name and habitat on

the proper location on the map. When the map is complete, discuss the most dangerous

places in the world to live. Some questions to answer are:

l Which animals are specific to one geographic area?

l Are there dangerous and deadly creatures that can be found in all parts of the world?

l Are some creatures moving into new environments?



m Understands the characteristics and uses of maps.

m Knows the locations of places, geographic features, and environmental patterns.

m Understands the concept of regions.

m Understands the characteristics of ecosystems on the earth's surface.

Language Arts:

m Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of

informational texts.

Class Project

Create a virtual zoo of dangerous animals. Discuss with your students how zoos can be

organized according to species, geography, environment, etc. Brainstorm how your zoo will

be arranged. The class may decide to use the chapters in the book as their organizing

principle. Use photographs, drawings, and handcrafted models to represent the animals.

Have students write brief descriptions for each animal on view. Invite lower–grade classes to

visit. Create a script for student zookeepers to use as these guests tour the zoo.


Visual Arts:

m Knows how visual, spatial, and temporal concepts integrate with content to

communicate intended meaning in artwork.

m Knows how subject matter, symbols, and ideas are used to communicate


Cooperative Learning:

m Works with others to produce a common goal.


After reading pages 52–59 in Chapter 3, introduce the following research project.

The threat of West Nile virus has been a major problem in North America for the past

several years. Have your students investigate this disease and report on their findings. The

reports should include

l what West Nile virus is

l how a disease that originated in Africa found its way to North America

l how it is transmitted

l what the dangers are

l where and when it first showed up in North America

l how it is spreading, and what health and government officials are doing about it

An excellent source of information is the National Institutes of Health. Visit them on the

Internet at http://www.nih.gov and click on West Nile in the left-hand column. You will find

links to the history of the West Nile virus, bug-borne diseases, and microbes in sickness and

in health, as well as publications of the NIH.

If you want to divide your class into two research-reporting groups, a second insecttransmitted

disease to study is Lyme disease. Again, the NIH will provide a wealth of



Language Arts:

m Writes in response to literature.

m Uses electronic media to gather information.

m Uses computer databases to locate sources for research projects.

m Uses a variety of resource materials.

m Organizes ideas.

m Writes research papers.


Great white sharks, grizzly bears, and killer bees, to name a few, have been the subjects of

beast-against-human survival books and films. Have your students write an adventure/

survival short story featuring an escape from one of the animals in Dangerous Creatures.

The actions of the animal should reflect its true behavior.

To satisfy your students' thirst for fantastical creatures, have them create a superdangerous

animal. They can combine body parts, abilities, and weapons from any number of animals

described in the book to make an invulnerable monstrous being. They can make original

drawings, cut and paste photographs, or write narrative descriptions.


Language Arts:

m Writes narrative accounts.

m Writes expressive compositions.

m Writes in response to literature.

Visual Arts:

m Knows how visual, spatial, and temporal concepts integrate with content to

communicate intended meaning in one's artwork.


From killer chimps to sinister spiders to monsters of the deep, the dangers deadly animals

present fascinate children and adults. Have students do a survey of their families, friends,

school personnel, and members of the community to find out which animals they fear most.

Then do a statistical analysis of the results.

The survey should consist of two parts. The first part is general information about the

person being interviewed. The second part contains specific questions about dangerous

animals Brainstorm with the class about the types of questions they will ask, such as the

following: Which animal is the most dangerous? What animal scares you the most? If you

could have a dangerous animal as a pet, what would it be?

An alternative survey method is to give the subject a list of dangerous animals and have him

or her rank the animals in order of most dangerous to least dangerous, or from the scariest

to the least scary. If you choose this method, brainstorm with the class the list of animals

they will present. Whichever survey method you use, have the students pool their results and present them as percentages.

Sample Survey Form:

Dangerous Animals

Subject Surveyed:

Age (check one)

7–10 ___

10–14 ___

15–24 ___

25–35 ___

35–49 ___

Adults 50+ ___

Sex: Male ___ Female ___

Level of education (choose one)

Present grade ___

High school grad ___

Highest college degree ___


Rank the following animals from most to least scary, most to least dangerous, and

most to least disgusting:

Place a number from 1 to 16 in each column, with 1 indicating the most and 16 the


Animal           Scary             Dangerous                     Disgusting



Grizzly bear


African hunting dog


Great white shark

Giant jellyfish





Killer bee

Vampire bat


Tsetse fly

The class should survey a wide range of people. The larger the sample, the more meaningful

the results will be.

After the results are tallied, they can be analyzed using several parameters, examining

single factors (age, sex, and level of education) or two factors (males ages 10–14, female

college graduates, adults 50+ with a high school education). The class can determine which

parameters they prefer. For each analysis of the data they should calculate the mean, mode,

and median.



m Uses data and statistical measures for a variety of purposes.

m Reads and interprets data in charts and tables.

m Understands basic concepts about how samples are chosen.

m Understands basic characteristics of measures of central tendency.

Cooperative Learning

Dangerous Creatures contains a wealth of information on deadly animals large and small.

Have your students create a game of trivial information based on the book. Create at least

six interestingly named categories of questions to cover the many different animals studied.

To get you started, here are some ideas: The Gang's All Here, for animals that hunt in

packs; "A Little Bite Will Do You," for venomous animals; "I'm Bigger, Faster, and Badder

Than You," for animals that kill by brute force and speed; "What You Can't See Can Really

Hurt You," for the smallest dangerous creatures; "Up, Up, and Away," for flying creatures;

"I'm Stuck on You," for animals that sting; and "Don't Go in the Water," for dangers from

the deep.

Divide your class into teams, one for each category, and have them write ten questions for

the animals that fit into their category. (Some animals will show up in more than one

group.) Have the students write their questions on one side of an index card and the

category name on the other side. Teams will take turns. Each team can select a question to

answer from a category other than its own. A correct answer gets 10 points. If a question is

answered incorrectly, any other team can answer it for a 5-point bonus. The team with the

most points wins.


Cooperative Learning:

m Works with others to produce a common goal.

Language Arts:

m Writes in response to literature.

m Uses content, style, and structure appropriate for specific audiences.

Ethics and Values

Many of the dangerous creatures talked about in the book can be found outside of their

native habitats in zoos around the world. While zoos provide a useful way to study these

animals, they can also inhibit the animals' well-being. Many people believe that zoos

represent cruel and inhumane treatment.

Visit a zoo or invite a zookeeper to talk to the class about the importance of zoos and how

he or she handles dangerous animals in captivity. Then invite an animal rights advocate to

speak to the class on the ethical treatment of animals.


Language Arts/Listening and Speaking:

m Listens in order to understand topic, purpose, and perspective in spoken texts.

Career Paths

Career paths for students interested in animals are listed on the summary page of each

chapter. Compile a list of the careers mentioned and have the students find out more about

what each occupation involves. One such career path (p. 58) is that of entomologist. The

book directs readers to an interactive Web site (http://www.umass.edu/ent/BugNetMAP/

r_state.html), which includes a map of state insects and insect museums. The URL is case

sensitive, so make sure you type it exactly as it is written.


Language Arts:

m Organizes information and ideas in a systematic way.

m Uses electronic media to gather information.

Natural History

All of the dangerous animals talked about in the book have, over time, developed specific

skills and adapted body parts that allow them to stalk and kill their prey, as well as defend

themselves from other predators. For example, owls have developed enormous eyes that

are specially adapted to see in the dark. They also have developed an acute sense of

hearing so that when hunting at night they can find their prey with pinpoint accuracy. Have

your students examine each of the animals in the book and create an organizer to describe

the developed abilities and adapted parts.

Sample Organizer:

Animal Adapted Body Parts Developed Skill


long tail

small head

nonretractable claws

helps keep it balanced

lowers body weight to increase speed

allows it to grip the ground


Language Arts:

m Writes in response to literature.

m Organizes information and ideas in a systematic way.


If you could pick a single weapon or tool used by any of the dangerous animals, which would

you pick? Why? How would it serve your needs in your day-to-day life?


Language Arts/Listening and Speaking:

m Contributes to group discussions.

m Responds to questions and comments.

m Listens in order to understand topic and purpose.

m Makes basic oral presentations.


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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2008

    It is a cool animals guide.

    Dangerous Animals by Angela Wilkes is a good book different animals and what they do. I read the book twice they live in different temperatures and homes like deserts, plains, oceans, lakes, streams, and trees .The great white shark has massive teeth to rip its prey into spreads. Pyromanias are strong and have little sharp teeth. There are only one dragon speeches and it is called the Komodo dragon it can¿t fly but it can fight it is so strong .Rattlesnakes use venom glands to attack their prey to kill it. Venom is very strong so it can kill anything. Elephants are so strong it can kill anything by stepping on it. Cheetahs are so fast and strong and can take down a herd of buffalo. Eagles are good at aiming and are so fast to catch their prey. Lions use their teeth and claws to get food. That is my book review.

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