Published by Candlewick
Published by Workman Publishing Co.
Summary: For those kids who enjoy books filled with quirky facts, here’s a double dose. Curious Comparisons is an import from Argentina showing true-to-size photos of an eclectic mix of animals and objects. A pound of feathers and a pound of lead; the amount of water a lion can drink at once shown in empty water bottles; a pile of thread representing an unraveled shirt: each item is shown on a white page with a fact or two and often a question. There are a few fold out pages: glasses filled with the amount of milk a cow produces and the flowers needed for a bee to make a pound of honey. Includes 4 pages of additional facts about each page. 64 pages; grades K-5.
Screaming Hairy Armadillo starts off with several pages explaining how animals are named, including a description of scientific classification. From there, the 77 animals are profiled, everything from the monkeyface prickleback to the bone-eating snot flower worm. The animals are grouped by name: funny names, fierce names, magical names, delicious names, and just plain weird names (looking at you, headless chicken monster). Each animal gets a page of information; a sidebar telling its species, habitat, and a fun fact; an illustration; and sometimes a photo. Includes a couple pages of awards (for different name-related categories); how to discover and name an organism; a weird and wild name generator; a glossary; a list of websites for further research; and information on conservation organizations. 176 pages; grades 2-5.
Pros: Books like these are almost too easy to book talk. Just show a page or two, maybe read a fact or share a couple of weird names, and boom, kids are clamoring for them. The photos and simple text in Curious Comparisons makes it a great choice for any elementary grade. Screaming Hairy Armadillo will appeal to older kids, and contains a lot of great information in addition to the animal profiles.
Cons: Curious Comparisons seemed a bit random to my well-ordered, Dewey-Decimal-trained brain.