Book review: Exploding Ants and Other Amazing Defenses, by Rebecca E. Hirsch

Hirsch, Rebecca E. Exploding Ants and Other Amazing Defenses.  (Searchlight Books. Animal Superpower series) Lerner Publications, 2017. $23.10. ISBN 9781512425444. 40 pages. Includes glossary, “Learn More about Animal Defenses”, and index. Ages 8-14. P7 Q6

Though the title mentions Exploding Ants, the book actually begins with a chapter on the Slimy Hagfish.  The amazing defense of slime coming first was confusing. The Table of Contents was helpful in identifying the other animals that were to be explained in the book.  The index did not include all the animals explored in the book, so it was not a helpful resource for someone doing research about a particular animal. The “Compare It!” pages provide amazing facts about additional species and their defenses (which are not listed in the index). They even have great photographs.  The “Compare It!” pages are sometimes in the middle of the chapter, interrupting the flow of the reading about a particular animal. It would flow better at the end of each chapter. In addition, glossary words are not identified in the text. Additional online resources are provided.

Verdict:  Learning about animals and their amazing defenses is great popular topic for children, and the book has eye catching photographs.  It is informative, but it is not a useful book for research.

May 2017 review by Deborah Gwynn.


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