~posted by Kristin E. and Claire S.
Zombie insects, farting snakes, and predators that swallow their prey whole — this summer, why not explore some of the world’s most fascinating (and disgusting) creatures with your kids? “Eww” and “ahh” with these children’s nonfiction books that appeal to fact finders and reluctant readers alike!
Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature’s Undead by Rebecca Johnson
Has your child ever asked if zombies really exist? Unfortunately, the answer is a terrifying yes, and you can meet them in Zombie Makers. Take the Cordyceps zombie-making fungus: its spores land on an unassuming ant, slowly take over the ant’s brain, and then force it to climb a tree before the ant dies. Thereafter pressure builds up inside the ant’s body and Cordyceps fungal stalks explode from its head, ready to infect more victims. Completely grossed out yet? No? You know where to find out more.
Neighborhood Sharks by Katherine Roy
How much could you chomp if your jaw wasn’t fused to your skull? With the super strong bite from its projectile jaws, an adult shark can eat a 400-pound seal in under ten bites, up to 50 pounds in each bite. Just 30 miles from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Farallon Islands are a favorite hunting ground for great white sharks who feast on seals. Follow a day in a shark’s life, the scientists who study them, and learn some fascinating facts along the way. Author-illustrator Katherine Roy won the prestigious Sibert Honor Award for most distinguished informational book for children with Neighborhood Sharks.
Disgusting Critters series by Elise Gravel
Who doesn’t love to share gross facts at the dinner table? Enlarge your family’s repertoire with Elise Gravel’s Disgusting Critters series. With comic book-style illustrations and text that’s easy to read, this series is great for kids who are just getting started with independent reading. There are books on flies, slugs, spiders, and even head lice. Perfect for the start of the school year!
Why Dogs Eat Poop: Gross But True Things You Never Knew About Animals by Francesca Gould
Scintillating answers to your child’s deepest questions. Turn to page 58 to see a spider that makes itself unappetizing to predators by impersonating bird poop. Flip ahead to page 138 to delight in the fact that certain snakes fart to scare away predators. Or perhaps you may be interested to know that there are birds that barf on their enemies? It’s true: see page 141. If you want to simultaneously engross and gross out your entire family, definitely check out Why Dogs Eat Poop.
Wondering where to find more titles like these to share with young readers in your life? Your local children’s librarian is likely an inadvertent expert on the fascinating and horrifying world of nature: stop in at your local branch for recommendations or drop us a line at https://www.spl.org/using-the-library/get-help/your-next-5-books for a personalized book list!