Friday, April 29, 2011

Never Smile at a Monkey by Steve Jenkins

Book Jacket

When it comes to wild animals, everyone knows that there are certain things you just don't do.  It's clearly a bad idea to tease a tiger, pull a python's tail, or bother a black widow spider.  But do you know how dangerous it can be to pet a platypus, collect a cone shell, or touch a tang fish?  Some creatures have developed unusual ways of protecting themselves or catching prey, and this can make them unexpectedly hazardous to your health.

In this dynamic and fascinating picture book by Steve Jenkins, you'll find out what you should never do if you encounter one of these surprisingly dangerous animals.


I love animals.  If I ever met a cheetah, I would risk life and limb to pet it, because deep down, I believe it would love me.  I mention that only to spell out my nature naivete, because Never Smile at a Monkey definitely made steps towards curing me.

Of the seventeen animals featured in this book, I only knew that hippos were dangerous.  Everything else was, in my mind, mostly harmless.  How wrong I was!  Some of the defense mechanisms literally made my jaw drop, like the fact that a kangaroo can balance on its tail to deliver a kick so powerful it can cave in a man's chest.  Egads.

If I ever encounter a wild animal, I will now be much more cautious.  Unless it's a cheetah.  I do really want to pet a cheetah.

Oh, and the pictures are all kinds of awesome. 

Five out of five poisonous barbs.

Release Date:  October 2009
Reading Level:  Grade 1+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  MONARCH

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