Reviews /

Animal FACTopia!

Authored by Julie Beer
Illustrated by Andy Smith
Published by What on Earth Publishing Ltd

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Animal FACTopia! invites readers to ‘follow the trail of 400 beastly facts’ and it certainly delivers lots of facts in an interesting and engaging way.

The book is divided up into different areas about animals, with each section interspersed with pages of ‘fact frenzies.’ The double page spreads focus on a wide range of topics. Some of these are devoted to a single animal, such as lizards, beetles, fish or frogs. Some explore facts about specific characteristics of animals, such as camouflage, tails or escape artists, whilst others are based around the habitats that animals can be found in such as wetland animals, island animals and on the beach.

The facts themselves are presented in a clear and accessible way, which means that this could be read with developing readers. The chosen facts are also ones that I know children would love to know and remember, such as excited guinea pigs ‘popcorn’ when they jump into the air or that in New York city, the subway was held up for almost an hour by two goats on the tracks. The use of photographs, augmented by cartoons and text, provide an exciting reading experience and really add to the overall engagement of the book.

This would be a great addition to a topic about animals, a class or school library or to engage those children who just love facts about animals. The book encourages readers to find their own path through and this would really appeal to readers of all ages, which is why I would recommend this book for the KS2 classroom.