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How do you get the kids off the playground? Enslow’s "I Like Weird Animals!"

Parents know how difficult it is to convince children their time is up and they need to leave the playground. Imagine my surprise when I’m babysitting Saturday and J comes willingly. From atop the equipment, he spies me reading Enslow’s new series "I Like Weird Animals!" and races over to check it out. This is the same boy who won’t sit still to hear stories and lets his younger sister do all the reading aloud to him. 

J says "Cool! What’s that thing? Let me see."

I reply "It’s a Flying Gecko." (part of the book Flying Geckos and Other Weird Reptiles)

J opens the book to the page illustrating "A spitting cobra can spray venom into the eyes of its enemy." He demands I read the caption then he stares intently. "There are more words here. Read them all," he insists. I dutifully read this entire book intended for grades K-3. He closes the cover and sighs contentedly. "You’ve got more. Give me more. I want another one."

I hand over Hair-Shooting Tarantulas and Other Weird Spiders. We continue our read-on-demand. J’s sister sees us totally enjoying these books so she climbs out and scurries over. I hand her Weird Birds of which she slowly reads every word pausing to ask "Why?" on nearly every page. 

Eventually they finish the entire five book series including Leafy Sea Dragons and Other Sea Creatures and Bomb-Factory Beetles and Other Weird Insects. J then demands I produce another book which I insist I don’t have.

"You have to have a weird mammal book!" he insists. Excellent, he is recognizing how this series is arranged. Bad, because it doesn’t appear they have a weird mammal book yet. 

"Tell them to write more and very, very soon," J demands so I agree to write today’s blog post. 

Do you teach elementary school? You will need these titles. Intended for first and second graders, these have wide appeal especially to boys. (I know this from researching on the playground as other children came to see) This series is written for curious children to explore and read on their own. I anticipate it becoming extremely popular on your shelves. Out of a large box of review books for middle school readers, I had to stop and check these out first. Have a population of struggling readers? You will appreciate these. Thanks to Lisa Corrado for getting me an image to use on the blog first thing this morning.

Bomb-Factory Beetles and Other Weird Insects  Author: Carmen Bredeson
ISBN-13: 978-0-7660-3123-4 ISBN-10: 0-7660-3123-3 24 pages, color photographs
Pub Year: 2009 List Price: $21.26 Discount Price: $15.95

Flying Geckos and Other Weird Reptiles Author: Carmen Bredeson
ISBN-13: 978-0-7660-3126-5 ISBN-10: 0-7660-3126-8 

Hair-Shooting Tarantulas and Other Weird Spiders Author: Carmen Bredeson
ISBN-13: 978-0-7660-3127-2 ISBN-10: 0-7660-3127-6 

Leafy Sea Dragons and Other Weird Sea Creatures Author: Carmen Bredeson
ISBN-13: 978-0-7660-3125-8 ISBN-10: 0-7660-3125-X 

Weird Birds  Author: Carmen Bredeson
ISBN-13: 978-0-7660-3124-1 ISBN-10: 0-7660-3124-1


  1. Carmen Bredeson says:

    Thanks for the great review Diane. Tell J and his sister that Weird Mammals has just been released. I haven’t gotten any copies yet, but they are on the way. I had a lot of fun writing this series.

  2. Excellent news! I called J and K (his sister) to tell them both. They are very pleased and asked if they should go check the mail. Immediacy is their lifestyle!