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- author Jackie French

Thursday 3 December 2020

Review: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dangerous Animals

Deadly and dangerous these animals may be, but each one contributes in some significant way to the natural environment.

Award-winning author and illustrator, Samy Bayly, has created a unique and stunning encyclopedia in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dangerous Animals, from its impressive covers with indented title and pen and ink end pages, to everything in between.

It’s a fantastic collection of more than sixty animals from all over the world, from tiny insects to huge and heavy animals and things that crawl, fly and swim.

The Contents page is a detailed introduction of what to expect, presented in tiny grey, shadows. It’s when you come to the main attractions, that you discover gold. Each exquisite poster-like image is better than the last. 

The Alligator Snapping turtle, Australian magpie, Bibron’s Stiletto Snake – Atractaspis bibronii, the Black-legged tick, and the Bloomslang are just a few of the portraits and their biographies.

Life-like and pulsing on the page, they are accompanied by their scientific name, with layouts in blocks that inform and instruct about description, diet, danger factor, location/habitat, conservation status and lots of fun facts such as those for the Ostrich.

The Ostrich’s eyes are bigger than its brains. They can live for fifty years. One Ostrich egg is equal to twenty-four chicken eggs.

Included is the length of time each animal/insect lives and its collective noun name.

There are lethal and non-lethal subjects and invasive and toxic species which prove very interesting. It explains how each one collects or activates its toxins such as the Hooded Pitohui, Pitohui dichrous.

Found in Australia are: The Coffin Ray, Australian magpie, Crown-of-thorns starfish Irukanjdi jellyfish, Red-headed Mouse spider, Red kangaroo, Southern Blue-ringed octopus and Tasmanian Devil and Cane toad. 

An ideal reference book for lovers of the unusual in facts and figures. It surprises with the amount of creative work that has gone into it and the learning that is offers. An ideal gift for the curious and animal lovers, and an absolute essential for home and school libraries.

Title: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of  Dangerous Animals
Author/Illustrator: Sami Bayly
Publisher: Hachette, $ 32.99
Publication Date: 29 September 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780734420015
For ages: 8+
Type: Non Fiction