Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

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Creaturepedia: Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth

Animal lovers and taxonomists of all ages will go ape for the charming British import Creaturepedia, a visual explosion of more than 600 creatures, illustrated with Adrienne Barman's whimsical, cartoonish artwork--delicate line drawings of richly colored animals, usually with funny and expressive googly eyes. The most distinctive aspect of this magnificent book--aside from the fantastic fauna--is the unusually creative way that the animals are categorized. Each lively spread is populated by a menagerie of animals, labeled by name, with the sparest of details to help explain how each fits into its designated category.

The section called "The prickly ones," for example, includes the bay shrimp, and its tiny caption says only "has a spiky horn above eyes." "The brainboxes" category is populated by intelligent creatures such as the Asian elephant, the chimpanzee ("good at problem-solving"), the parakeet, the Jungle crow, the common octopus, the rat, the dolphin ("self aware"), the honeybee and the red wood ant. The "canary-yellows" embrace everything yellow, it seems, but an actual canary: the blue-cheeked butterfly fish, the banana slug, pineapplefish, etc. The "faithful" include the agile gibbon, the lovebird ("mates for life"), the dik-dik and the Mongolian gerbil. The "regal?" The lion, golden eagle, white tiger, king cobra. Other intriguing categories among the 41 total are "The Lilliputians," "The fierce," "The endangered," "The show-offs," "The munch-it-uppers" and "The mythical."  Amusing interactions between various animals on the page add yet another dimension to this fabulous book that guarantees hours of contented browsing. A gem. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness