Little Cousin Alex was happily singing away in his high chair, eating a snack. A fly came buzzing into the kitchen, as flies do.
Alex’s mum nailed it with the swatter. But she immediately realized to her horror that her son, eyes big as saucers, had just witnessed his first murder.
Quickly improvising, she picked up the fly by one wing and carefully made her way to the window.
“Out you go, now. Fly, fly!”
She looked back at Alex with a nervous smile. He sighed, then gave her the bad news:
“He’s not going to fly, Mama. You squashed him.”
If you have a little person in your world who tells it like it is, and perhaps prefers just the facts, ma’am, they are going to love Elise Gravel’s beautiful and quirky Disgusting Critters series. These little gems are perfect for the budding biologist, or anyone who has a soft spot for much-maligned creatures lower down the food chain.
The compact size is just right for small hands and the illustrations are big and bold and full of life. (Elise has written and illustrated many books for children in French and English. In 2013, she won the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Illustration in French.) The text, a hilarious mix of straight facts (including special talents and food preferences) and sassy commentary from the subject in question, will inspire beginning readers to keep reading and more accomplished readers to maybe finish their science homework.
And let’s not forget the ick factor. There are plenty of snot and poop jokes to go around (and anyone who has kids knows those never go out of style!). One of my favourites is when the slug meets a giant drooling baby. He is clearly impressed.
Because kids apparently can’t get enough of the gross, two new titles will be out in February: Head Lice (scritch scritch) and The Spider (ack!).
Author: Elise Gravel
Publisher: Tundra Books
Genre: Juvenile Non-fiction
Age range: 6-9
Bonus Feature: While we’re on the subject, here’s a creepy flashback.