Remarkable Animals by Tony Meeuwissen

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Remarkable Animals by Tony Meeuwissen

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Lorraine McDonald
Reviewed by Lorraine McDonald
Summary: I recommend a flip through this mixed up, muddled up animal book. Have some interactive fun learning about real creatures, then turn the page sections out of sequence to create some new imaginary ones.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1847806321

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Can I introduce you to the Ally-Topus? He’s powerful enough to drag a man in to water, likes to hover over fragrant flowers but seems to be extremely shy and almost impossible to keep in captivity. Sound familiar? Maybe it would help to describe the accompanying picture – an alligator’s head, a bird’s body and a platypus tail. Still don’t recognise him? Maybe we can try another animal. What about the Pleevillar? The By-Tollar? No? I’d best stop there. There are one thousand creatures in Remarkable Animals so we could be here rather a long time.

What we have here is an interactive book for the young and the young/silly at heart. Based on the old parlour game of heads, bodies, tails, this spiral bound edition takes ten animals and divides them in to three pieces that can be turned independently. In addition to a picture of a head, body or tail, each section has a fact about the relevant animal. The words and pictures can be flipped over to create a new creature and a crazy natural history.

Some of these animals are pretty silly to begin with. The platypus already looks like he has misplaced his own tail and borrowed someone else’s. The baboon, we are told is ‘second cousin to man’ so should look more familiar - which he would if the drawing was not engineered to dovetail with a weevil when flipped out of sequence.

The drawings are delightful. I loved the cute Opossum as well as the beautiful Ruby-Topaz humming bird. The facts, when in the correct order, are intriguing too – who would have guessed that a baboon by the name of 'Happy Jerry' was once entertained by the King at Windsor Castle with a glass of port and a pipe of tobacco? Just in case the lines between reality and imagination become a bit blurred, at the end of the book, the author provides a brief guide to all the real animals.

Remarkable Animals is one for all the family. Perfect for when you are in a silly mood and don’t have the patience to tackle a whole story book. The interactive format may also draw in more reluctant readers. Just watch out for the Wigallar – he is one mean looking beast.

If you want some real animals, you can’t get more authentic than Actual Size by Steve Jenkins. If whimsy is more your bag, grab Flanimals: The Day of the Bletchling by Ricky Gervais.

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Buy Remarkable Animals by Tony Meeuwissen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Remarkable Animals by Tony Meeuwissen at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Remarkable Animals by Tony Meeuwissen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Remarkable Animals by Tony Meeuwissen at


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