For STEM Friday we have a board book for the youngest biologists,  Odd Beasts: Meet Nature’s Weirdest Animals by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Gareth Lucas

The book introduces babies and toddlers to eight weirdly-fascinating animals:  the pangolin (mammal with scales!), ocean sunfish, glass frog, anglerfish, long-horned orb-weaver spider, Eastern snake-necked turtle, bush baby, and giant jumping stick. Great selections!

Each two-page spread features a brightly-colored illustration of the animal, plus one short sentence that names it and points out a notable identifying characteristic.  For example, one of the animals “wears armor.” Can you guess which one?

The back matter includes photographs of each animal with a concise, but more-detailed description.

Odd Beasts is fun, sweet, and educational all rolled up into one. Perfect to prepare for a trip to a zoo or aquarium, then remember the adventure afterwards.

Related Activities:

    1. Visit Laura Gehl’s website for three coloring sheets (based on illustrations from the book) to download.
    2. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a page devoted to the ocean sunfish which includes a video
    3. Look for odd insects in the Insects Unlocked Flickr photostream (like this one)

Check out this tree pangolin at the Brookfield Zoo.


Reading age ‏ : ‎ 2 – 4 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Abrams Appleseed (November 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1419742221
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1419742224

Disclosure: This book was provided by Blue Slip Media. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.