Tiffany Stone and Ashley Spires
You may be surprised to learn that some of the world’s smallest creatures have awesome superpowers.
The minute oribatid mite can lift more than 1,000 times its own weight. The pygmy seahorses are so good at camouflage that scientists only discovered them accidentally when they brought some coral into a lab to study; then there’s the bee hummingbird that’s able to fly backwards and upside-down – clever stuff!
Did you know that wood frogs are able to survive harsh winter conditions as ‘frogsicles’ – they stop breathing, their hearts stop beating and their bodies make a kind of protective antifreeze and as for those teeny tiny tardigrades, here’s what author Tiffany Stone has to say about them: ‘The tardigrade, or water bear, / is so small that its barely there. / … And bear in mind, although it’s wee, / it’s tougher that you’ll ever be. / Freezing cold or boiling hot— / too much to bear? This bear thinks not.’
Ashley Spires uses her artistic superpower to illustrate each featured creature, making every miniature marvel appear super-confident; and to accompany her poetic descriptions Tiffany Stone provides some side-notes in the form of animal monologues (or dialogue) presented in comic strip style side panels. This is a book that will appeal to animal enthusiasts especially.
The Versatile Reptile
Nicola Davies and Abbie Cameron
In this addition to the rhyming series in which Nicola Davies presents a look at various animal types, we meet some reptiles.
Reptiles are found in many different parts of the world as the young adventurer in this book discovers in her search. These scaly creatures might be jungle dwellers, live in desert places or swim in the seas among the seaweed, and can vary in size from massive to minute and from endearing to downright grim and ghastly.
One thing the entire reptile group can claim though, is versatility.
Abbie Cameron’s accurately detailed, close-up illustrations really drive that point home to readers who will one hopes enjoy coming face to face with such fascinating creatures. This reviewer certainly did.
Perfectly pitched for KS1 readers.