A Giant Dose Of Gross

Authored by Andy Seed
Illustrated by Claire Almon
Published by QED

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From the author and illustrator duo, Andy Seed and Claire Almon (whose previous publication together was The Clue Is In The Poo), comes another slice of repulsiveness: A Giant Doss Of Gross.

The title sums the book up perfectly – it’s not for the squeamish. There are facts in here, especially those relating to humans, that will really turn your stomach. It’s just the book to appeal to all young people who are attracted to the disgusting side of the animal kingdom. They’ll learn about a diverse range of creatures from tiny mites that live buried in the pores around our eyelashes, to European roller bird chicks that vomit orange sick on themselves to dissuade potential predators and wombats that have square-shaped poo to stop it rolling away.

While the concept of the book is revolting facts, and it certainly delivers on this front, it is also crammed with other tidbits of interesting information about these creatures from across the planet, many of which will be previously unknown to the reader: the kamikaze horsehair worm, riboeira flatworm and assassin bugs to name but a few.

Each animal is illustrated in watercolour with comical eyes that manage to convey a gamut of attitudes and character adding subtle humour. Amusing speech bubbles further serve to caricature the creatures which will appeal to children with a sense of humour.

Double page spreads group animals according to a common gross connection ranging from Ugly (Animals that look gross) to Thirsty (Animals that drink blood) and Wacky (Animals that are strange and gross). The information is presented in a variety of formats with the inclusion of diagrams and fact boxes making it appeal to children who do not like to be overwhelmed by a block of text. Finally, no factbook is complete without a quiz and readers will find two at the back.

I can see this book being popular with children across the junior years (perhaps more 9+ with the amount of text and some of the technical language).