cover image The Ultimate Animal Criminals

The Ultimate Animal Criminals

Clive Gifford, illus. by Sarah Horne. Egmont UK/Red Shed (IPG/Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $14.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4052-7381-7

Gifford suggests that animals can be real jerks in this lighthearted look at animal mischief. Cane toads, which Horne pictures dressed as mobsters, were introduced to Australia in the 1930s to eat the cane beetle, but the toads’ numbers soared to more than 200 million. Monkeys are notorious thieves (in the Indian city of Pune, langur monkeys stole more than 100 mobile phones) while “animal assassins” include electric eels and anemones. Horne’s scraggly cartoons play up the silliness of animals as burglars and con artists, but underneath the fun is intriguing information about the ways animals compete to survive. Ages 7–9. (Apr.)