Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, May 1, 2017

Lesser Spotted Animals: the Coolest Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of by Martin Brown

Lesser Spotted Animals: the Coolest Creatures You’ve Never Heard Of
by Martin Brown
David Fickling Books, an Imprint of Scholastic, Inc. 2017
ISBN: 9781338089349
Grades 2 and up (Younger if read aloud)

Note: Louise is writing all the reviews while Cathy is on Sabbatical until February, 2018.

Have you ever heard of a Gaur (“Gow-A”)? How about a Long-Tailed Dunnart? Possibly a Dagger-Toothed Flower Bat? No? These animals and nineteen more are the subject of Brown’s factual, with a twist of humor, informational narrative. 

In the introduction Brown states, “Fed up with the same old animals? Had enough of hippo bored with bears? Tired of tigers? Try Lesser Spotted Animals, a book about the wonderfully wow wildlife we never get to see.” 

Take the Crabeater Seal, the world’s not rarest seal. They live in the Antarctic and eat krill. Their specially developed teeth are not made for biting, but filtering. When they take a bit at a swarm of krill, the water strains out and all that’s left “is a mouthful of lunch.” So why have we never heard of this animal that is more numerous than brown bears, zebras, and bottle-nosed dolphins? Because. “The poor creature is a dull, pale browny-gray color. It can’t jump and it doesn’t chose its prey in thrilling, TV-friendly fashion. It doesn’t even eat crabs!”  

Each two-page spread includes facts about what makes the animal unique. Where it lives, what it eats, and why did Brown decide to include it. Sadly, most of the animals are threatened or endangered. 

Illustrated by the author, Brown’s colorful, representational drawings paired with his zany, witty jokes make this a perfect book for reluctant readers who love facts. Go here to see  some of the pages from this book. 

Back matter only include a glossary. 

A fun book to share with those who love the unusual.

You may recognize Brown's name. He is the illustrator of the wildly popular Horrible Histories series. 


  1. Such a fun & engaging book! I really enjoyed it!

  2. Can't wait to read this book. It sounds like so much fun!