cover image Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality

Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality

Eliot Schrefer, illus. by Jules Zuckerberg. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (240p)

Employing conversational humor and personal anecdotes, interviews with a variety of scientists, and detailed information about the intersections of human bias and animal research, Schrefer deconstructs commonly held beliefs to reveal the world of queer animal behavior. Beginning with questions such as “Are there trans animals?” and “Does sexuality require sex?,” chapters consider gender, sex, and sexuality through the lens of creatures that include albatrosses, bottlenose dolphins, and doodlebugs. Occasional grayscale comics by Zuckerberg position animals in a human safe space—a Gay Straight Alliance meeting—in which they engage in accepting and affirming species-specific discussions. Together, the creators deliver punch lines while revealing little-known animal facts about avian asexuality and polyamory, bisexual bonobos, and intersex deer, all supporting the argument that exclusionary takes on the natural world are a breakable human habit—and that, as science shows, queer behavior has never been “unnatural.” Substantial back matter includes suggestions for further reading, a glossary, and an index. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 14–up. (May)