The Most Dangerous

( 1 )

Overview

Dangerous animals from all over the world gather for the Most Dangerous Animal of All Contest. Snakes, spiders, sharks...who will the winner be? Deadly poison, huge teeth, razor-sharp horns, and fearsome feet are just a few of the ways that animals kill. Predators mean to kill. Prey simply defend themselves. And yet, the unexpected "Most Deadly Animal" doesn't mean any harm! Don't let the suspense kill you.

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Overview

Dangerous animals from all over the world gather for the Most Dangerous Animal of All Contest. Snakes, spiders, sharks...who will the winner be? Deadly poison, huge teeth, razor-sharp horns, and fearsome feet are just a few of the ways that animals kill. Predators mean to kill. Prey simply defend themselves. And yet, the unexpected "Most Deadly Animal" doesn't mean any harm! Don't let the suspense kill you.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A contest to determine the most dangerous creature is the premise of Fields's book, complete with nervous judges and a cast of animals best avoided. They reside on land, in the sea, and in the air, and each offers one or more facts to prove its fearsomeness. From box jelly to venomous snake, toothsome shark to stealthy crocodile, even the clownish porcupine fish and oversize cassowary audition for the prize. Being responsible for the most sickness and death earns the ubiquitous mosquito the trophy. While the facts are sparse and the text simplistic, the photo-realistic illustrations show the animal in its habitat and in a close-up, aggressive pose. With a blend of traditional painting and digital media, Jacques's half- or full-spread images are satisfying for their detail and drama. Featuring many of the same animals, Steven Jenkins's Never Smile at a Monkey (Houghton Harcourt, 2009), with his signature paper-collage images and alliterative text, is distinctive bookmaking offering a more scientific overview, poetic cadence, and specific warnings. In Fields's book, the animals are personified, stating their own case and thereby causing the judges to cower and tremble. Much smaller images and text on four additional pages offer learning activities with additional interactive quizzes and teaching activities to become available via the publisher's website. With animals a perennial favorite and a cover featuring the gaping mouths of a shark, snake, and crocodile, this contest is likely to lure the most reluctant readers.—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A talent show of dangerous animals misses the mark in so many ways. Parading before a panel of quaking human judges, a paltry 10 contestants for the titular trophy flash fangs, teeth or other weapons. They do so in closely cropped painted portraits that--except for the slavering, charging Cape buffalo--fail to deliver any sense of menace, motion or even size. The animals' own statements are equally unimpressive, ranging from the saltwater crocodile's obscure, "When a person or animal comes by, I explode from the water and drown him," to the great white shark's unconvincing "I have 3,000 teeth that bite really hard." The "winner" turns out to be the mosquito, which (a judge awkwardly explains) "because of its blood-sucking spreads the most sickness and death in the entire animal kingdom." Neither the main text nor the enrichment quizzes and other material at the back and online elaborate on this baldly stated claim. Children are in no danger of encountering detailed information about animal offenses and defenses, or even a thrill or two, from this quick wash of generalities. (map) (Informational picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607185352
  • Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/10/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,381,387
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Terri Fields
Terri Fields, an author and English teacher, lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Educational with a surprise ending

    The Most Dangerous, written by Terri Fields and illustrated by Laura Jacques, is an educational story that caters to children between the ages of 4-9. The engagement of this story is instantaneous when a gathering of animals from all over the world come together in order to compete for the coveted title of the most dangerous. Savvy to her audience, Ms. Fields masters the craft of description by devoting a mere sentence or two per creature that enables her young audience to instantly engage. She presents a wide range of animals from box jellyfish to hippopotamus that have traveled from the far reaches of Australia as well as the barren plains of Africa to compete in The Most Dangerous contest. She is concise in describing characteristics that are individual and unique to the animals she depicts and notes traits specific to each animal. Before moving on to the next, she explains why it is considered to be fearful. In essence, she makes it easy for her reader to process the ‘danger.’ Laura Jacques complements Ms. Fields’ story with her creative and detailed depictions of the animals through bold and colorful illustrations. Her images assign a reality and recognition in a ‘come to life’ style that assists the reader in formulating an opinion when it comes time to judge. Fields reserves the outcome and element of surprise for the very end of the story when the most unsuspecting ‘most dangerous’ achieves the overall title. While the story may be over, Fields provides an afterthought to the book as she coaxes her readership to think about what they’ve learned by including an educational section. There are interactive snippets of information that address topics such as where the animal originates and what makes it indigenous to its domain. She further encourages her young readers to give their creative talents a shot with a section of illustrations and the suggestion they draw their version of the varied creatures. She expands on the challenge by planting seeds that encourage the reader to think about the animal’s natural habitat and diet. This story brought me back to many years ago when I would read bedtime stories to my daughters. I believe children are a very difficult audience to write for. Their imaginations are vivid and vast, but their insistence toward believability is where they invariably refuse to give an inch. Ms. Fields has done a just job in accomplishing a believable and educational tale for her target audience. Quill Says: Who would have thought the smallest creature would be The Most Dangerous.

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