cover image Stinkiest! 20 Smelly Animals

Stinkiest! 20 Smelly Animals

Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-544-94478-7

In this addition to the Extreme Animals series, author-illustrator Jenkins explores aromatic animals, leading with an irresistible question: “What animal is the smelliest of all?” Emitting strong odors actually serves a purpose for many species on the list, Jenkins explains—notably, as self-defense and to protect territory (predators don’t want to be around or eat stinky animals). Mammals on the list include the honey badger, striped skunk, and ring-tailed lemur; bugs, sea creatures, and birds are also contenders: the hoatzin (aka, “stink bird”) takes a long time to digest food, resulting in “a lot of smelly gas—bird farts.” A purple sea slug called the sea hare, meanwhile, “protects itself by releasing toxic, bad-tasting purple ink.” Jenkins supplies additional facts about the animals, making their stinky characteristics just one aspect of their biology; his trademark torn-paper collages offer realistic and distinctive visual texture for each animal subject. Also available: Speediest: 19 Very Fast Animals. Ages 6–9. (May)