Deadly! The Truth About the Most Dangerous Creatures on Earth

Nicola Davies, Author, Neal Layton, Illustrator
Nicola Davies, illus. by Neal Layton. Candlewick, $14.99 (64p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6231-8
Reviewed on: 01/28/2013
Release date: 03/26/2013
Hardcover - 61 pages - 978-1-4063-2713-7
Hardcover - 61 pages - 978-1-4063-4541-4
Paperback - 35 pages - 978-1-4063-5742-4
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Nature isn’t always pretty—in fact, sometimes it’s downright nasty. In this squat volume, the sixth nature-themed collaboration from this duo, Davies strikes a light tongue-in-cheek tone to explore hostile animal behavior. Layton’s characteristically deadpan cartoons show animals using an arsenal of defense mechanisms and demonstrating predatory prowess. A viper injects poison into a mouse, a bombardier beetle “sprays boiling toxic liquid out of its rear end,” and a crocodile devours a bespectacled zebra (“The crocodile then performs the so-called ‘death roll,’ clamping its jaws around a body part—such as a head or leg—and spinning in the water to twist it off”). While educating readers about the fascinating ways animals kill one another, Davies also speaks to the importance of nature conservation and the human impact on wildlife. Ages 8–up. (Mar.)
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