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.
A Look Inside Never Smile at a Monkey
(Click on Images to Enlarge)
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 1–4—A visually stunning book illustrated with cut paper and torn collages. Jenkins's introductory warnings are gently alliterative: "NEVER pet a platypus"; "NEVER touch a tang." The gentleness stops there, however. "NEVER jostle a jellyfish. A box jellyfish, that is. Most jellyfish can sting people, but….If you are unlucky enough to become really entangled with a box jellyfish, you can die very quickly." Readers may enjoy staring deadly danger in the face, knowing that it is distant and rare. They'll also be treated to fascinating facts about creatures like the cassowary, electric caterpillar, cane toad, and puffer fish. Further reading is provided in the back matter, including an explanation of animals' need for powerful protection from their predators in the wild. This exceptionally well-written portion of the book is generously illustrated. The most eloquent of these cut paper and torn collages are on the front and back covers, which feature a rhesus monkey looking solemnly out, and then opening its large mouth filled with scarily sharp teeth. This superlative illustrator has given children yet another work that educates and amazes.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY