'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Junior Review: Sensational Australian Animals

Fun, surprising and interesting. That’s how I’d describe Sensational Australian Animals by Stephanie Owen Reeder and illustrated by Cher Hart.

This book is filled with weird and wacky facts about Australian animals and has beautiful illustrations. 

The information is broken up by the senses, so there are sections on smell, taste, sound, sight and touch. Each section includes different animals and the interesting ways they use their senses.

Did you know Australian herrings gulp in air from the surface of the water, store it and then release it in high-pitched farts?

Did you know whale sharks don’t have eyelids because their eyeballs are covered in tiny teeth?

Did you know the rakali (or native water rat) has found a way to eat cane toads without getting poisoned?

Each chapter starts with an introduction to the senses, comparing animals to humans. I loved the eyes chapter which showed me all the different kinds of eyes animals have, how they’re different from human eyes, and what the differences mean. In the top corner of every page there’s a helpful picture telling you which section of the book you’re in, and there’s an index at the back so you can look up your favourite animals.

Each chapter is also broken up by animal type, so they explore reptiles, sea creatures, insects, marsupials and birds in each part of the book.

The information is easy to read. All the animal names are highlighted, and uncommon words (like concave and windpipe) are in bold, so you can go to the glossary and find out what they mean.

The illustrations are wonderful and there’s one for every animal. They are detailed, colourful and life-like.

Kids who love animals and facts will love this book. It’s particularly helpful for an animal themed Kahoot!

Title: Sensational Australian Animals
Author: Stephanie Owen Reeder
Illustrator: Cher Hart
Publisher: CSIRO, $29.99
Publication Date: February 2024
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781486316892
For ages: 5+
Type: Non-Fiction