Mighty Scared: The Amazing Ways Animals Defend Themselves

Orca. Feb. 2024. 32p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781459836068.
Gr 1-3–It’s nearly impossible to think clearly when danger lurks and fear sets in—but life in the animal world often doesn’t leave a moment to pause. In this enthralling text, Silver provides readers with entertaining facts along with additional sidebar prompts that bring everyone into the dialogue. Front and center are the (sometimes gross and icky) survival traits that act as protection for certain animals when they’re face-to-face with a predator. The reality of feeling scared can be yucky—but who doesn’t love an opossum whose theatric abilities win best actor for playing dead while emitting an odiferous stink, or learning of the pygmy sperm whale who “pppffts” blobs of ink to repel enemies? A glossary accompanied by a supplemental resource section empowers readers to understand their own human coping mechanisms, while colorful, detailed images soaked in softly muted earth tones build a base of strong general knowledge. The challenge for readers young and old will be to see who says “ew” first!
VERDICT A thoroughly engaging, fact-filled book with audacious and memorable animal responses to predators. A must-have for every library.

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