Lesser Spotted Animals

By Martin Brown
Publisher: David Fickling Books
ISBN: 9781910989562

Martin Brown is the exquisitely talented cartoon illustrator from the Horrible Histories books, a contribution that turned a great idea into a brilliant set of books. Now he’s back with a book of his own, donning both illustrator and writer’s hats for what must have made interesting apparel for while he was working.

Lesser Spotted Animals is a book about the animals that get sidelined, overlooked or forgotten in the face of those more popular members of the Animal Kingdom such as lions, tigers and bears. Instead, here you’ll learn about Cuban Solenodons, Russian Desmans and Hirolas, to name but a few. With just the right balance of engaging detail, facts and fun, each spread takes a look at a creature in need of a little exposure and love, and all illustrated with Martin’s distinctive humorous style.

Aimed at seven-year-olds and up, there are enough unusual beasties here to keep even curious adults engaged. The text is witty and not over-long, there’s a good balance of facts alongside the curiosities (three types of vampire bat!) and funny bits, and it’s clearly done with a huge fondness for the subject matter. I have to say that it’s something I’d have loved to have done myself.

Whether a gift for a wildlife loving child or an essential addition to a school library, this is a book that won’t disappoint.

And if you liked that: Give Corpse Talk by Adam Murphy a whirl

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