Amazing World: Bugs – L.J. Tracosas

If you know me at all, you know that I’m just the teeniest bit obsessed with fun facts. This book is essentially Fun Facts: Bug Edition, so a must read for me.

All bugs are arthropods, meaning they all have a joint in the leg or foot, exoskeletons and are symmetrical. After explaining what they are and highlighting some of the ways they protect themselves, this book introduces you to twenty bugs.

You’ll learn where they live, what they eat and how big they are. At the end of the book there’s a glossary. I definitely learned some new words today.

Because I can’t help myself, I need to tell you my favourite fun fact for each bug.

When a Click Beetle is in danger it flips itself over and plays dead. Only it can’t flip back so it flings itself into the air over and over again until it lands the right way.

The body of a Spiny Flower Mantis mimics flower petals, which brings their food to them.

Daddy Longlegs aren’t spiders. Seriously??? They’re part of the arachnid family but are more closely related to scorpions.

The Hickory Horned Devil Caterpillar turns into a regal moth, which doesn’t have a working mouth.

Firefly adults are generally vegetarian but when they’re young many of them are carnivores.

The Jewel Wasp can turn cockroaches into zombies. The process is ingenious but kinda gross.

The female Spiny Orbweaver makes the web and is larger and more brightly coloured than the male.

The Longhorn Beetle eats trees.

Like the hickory horned devil caterpillar, Luna Moths don’t live long enough to eat. Luna Moths are nocturnal.

The nose of some species of Lanternfly is almost half the size of its body.

The Goliath Beetle weighs up to 100 grams (4 ounces).

The Giraffe Weevil was first discovered in 2008. It lives in Madagascar.

If a predator catches a Stick Insect, it may be able to get away by detaching its leg. They grow back!

Glowworms aren’t actually worms. They’re the larvae of the fungus gnat.

Because apparently we don’t call things what they are in the bug world, Railroad Worms are also not worms. They’re female beetles and they look amazing at night.


When they’re in danger, the Motyxia Millipede “will leak deadly cyanide and other yucky substances from the pores dotting their sides.”

What you know as a stink bug is actually called a Shield Bug.

Giant Devil’s Flower Mantis has a brilliant scientific name: Idolomantis diabolica.

In 1939, someone found a Glowing Cockroach. Just the one and it’s the only one that’s ever been spotted. It’s kind of adorable though; when it glows it reminds me of someone wearing a cape.


The Hercules Beetle lives up to its name. It’s the world’s strongest insect and “can lift more than 800 times its weight.”

I liked the layout of this book. There wasn’t so much text that young readers would find it overwhelming and there are at least two photos of each bug. I loved that the size of each bug was shown in relation to the size of a hand.

This was an entertaining way to get today’s fun fact fix. I may need to visit Ecuador to see if I can find the second ever glowing cockroach.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Chartwell Books, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Amazing World: Bugs transports kids around the world to discover the lives of 20 strange and magnificent insects. Adding to the fun, the book includes 13 reusable glow in the dark plastic stickers.

From shimmering glowworms and fireflies to the extremely odd giraffe bug, every insect profile includes up close and personal, full colour photos of each amazing creature and tonnes of fun facts and easily digestible graphics. Kids learn about where each bug lives, what they eat, how they evade predators much, MUCH larger than they are, and so much more! 

Discover each bug’s unique skills for building and defence. Explore the fascinating characteristics of bugs like the lanternfly, which is named for its large snout, or the stick insect, which can blend in anywhere. 

Just a few of the intriguing bugs you will meet: 

  • Click Beetle 
  • Spiny Flower Mantis 
  • Daddy Longlegs 
  • Hickory Horned Devil Caterpillar 
  • Jewel Wasp 
  • Luna Moth 
  • Glowing Cockroach 
  • And more!

Creature Files: Dragons – L.J. Tracosas

This book begins by asking if dragons were real (of course they were!) and exploring some of the commonalities between tales of dragons around the world. Twenty dragons are included in this dragon bestiary.

Information is provided about them, including the region, time period and habitat they were said to have lived, as well as whether they could fly or breathe fire. Attention is also given to their teeth and any special beliefs associated with them. Some were believed to be dangerous, while others were more benevolent.


At the end of the book you’ll find some examples of animals that share some traits with dragons, like the dragonsnakes of Indonesia, which have scales and a mysterious nature.

The illustrations are quite detailed. Some children may find some of the pictures scary. There wasn’t as much information as I would have liked but it would be enough to whet the appetite of young readers. Some of the fonts used were difficult to read.


Thank you so much to NetGalley and becker&mayer! kids, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Whether they were real or myth, Creature Files: Dragons shows you the folklore of twenty dragons from around the world and what the people believed about them.

Do you believe dragons are nothing more than the scaly stuff of myths? Or do you think they really existed? Whatever side you’re on, this collection of twenty fascinating creatures is sure to spark your imagination.

In Creature Files: Dragons, you’ll take a tour through the world of fire-breathing, gold-hoarding, three-headed monsters and discover where and how these magical creatures came to be. Learn the unique folklore of cultures around the globe, from China to Russia to Eastern Africa, and see how people envisioned these otherworldly beasts through lush and evocative illustrations.

Included are many meaty facts to gnaw on – like which dragon had too many teeth to count, and which dragon had teeth as big as an adult’s arm – along with a realistic dragon-tooth necklace! And science lovers will also find something to sink their teeth into: facts about real-life dragons that exist today. These dragons may not breathe fire, but they share some of the same traits as their mythical brethren. 

Creature Files: Reptiles – L.J. Tracosas

One of my earliest memories of school is when I attended a talk about snakes in the school library. At the end of the talk we were allowed to touch one of the snakes. Even though I was scared, I gently patted this snake and it felt incredible! I’ve been fascinated by them ever since. Because I live in the land of deadly creatures, I have spotted both brown and red-bellied black snakes in my yard but thankfully none have made their way inside my home (that I know of).

The information in this book will entirely freak you out, give you more respect for these cold-blooded creatures, or both. For each of the twenty reptiles featured, you will learn their scientific name and some fun facts, along with details about where they live, and their length and weight. There’s also a Danger Gauge and a Fang File, which includes a description and photograph.

I loved this book! I’m quoting my favourite fact for each reptile, although there’s plenty more where they come from.

Gila Monster – “Thanks to their fat-storing tails and their ability to digest really slowly, some scientists think these reptiles need to eat only three times a year!”

Gaboon Viper – “Instead of striking and releasing, like other snakes, the gaboon viper sinks its teeth in and holds on – injecting more venom into its victims than any other snake.”

Black Mamba – “These swift serpents are the fastest land snakes in the world, sprinting at speeds of up to 12.5 miles (20 km) per hour.”

American Alligator – “A single alligator can go through 3,000 teeth in its life.”

King Cobra – “While these deadly snakes can inject venom powerful enough to topple an elephant, they prefer to dine on other snakes.”

Rattlesnake – “Every time the rattlesnake sheds its skin, it gets another “ring”.” (on its tail)

Green Iguana – “they can swim underwater for up to 30 minutes.”


Emerald Tree Boa – “You’ll usually find them coiled around a branch in a loop with their head in the middle.”

Inland Taipan – “The inland taipan is considered by many to be the world’s most venomous snake.”

Black Caiman – “Like other crocodilians, the black caiman has a broad snout filled with about 76 teeth.”

Tuatara – “A tuatara has two rows of teeth on the top jaw and one row on the bottom.”

Bush Viper – “This big-eyed snake has rough scales to help it grip the trees it climbs while hunting.”

Red Spitting Cobra – “Despite their name, spitting cobras don’t actually spit – they’re really shooting venom out of tubes in their fangs. The spray can reach up to 8 feet (2.4 m).”

Indian Gharial – “An Indian gharial has about 110 needle-like teeth lining its narrow jaws.”


Boomslang – “If a boomslang thinks it’s been spotted, it will freeze, usually with the front of its body extended off the tree. They’ll even sway slowly, just like a tree branch moving in the breeze.”

Copperhead – “Copperheads have keeled scales, which means each scale has a ridge on it.”

Nile Crocodile – “Most reptiles leave their eggs and babies on their own, but Nile crocodiles guard their nests, help their babies hatch, and even keep an eye on them until they’re about two years old.”

Green Anaconda – “Weighing more than an adult lion and longer than a giraffe is tall, these colossal constrictors have an appetite for big prey.”

Komodo Dragon – “Dragons use their forked yellow tongues to smell, and they can catch the scent of a dead or bleeding animal up to 6 miles away.”

Leatherback Sea Turtle – “Out of 1,000 hatchlings, only one baby turtle will grow to be an adult.”


Thank you so much to NetGalley and becker&mayer! kids, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Get nose to nose with twenty of the fastest, strongest, stealthiest, and most poisonous reptiles the planet Earth has to offer, with Creature Files: Reptiles.

From the deadly gaboon viper, with the longest fangs in the world, to the venomous Gila monster that lurks underground, reptiles have an extraordinary assortment of survival skills.

Fangs and venom aren’t these cold-blooded creatures’ only weapons: some are camouflaged to hide in plain sight, and others, like the Komodo dragon, have powerful claws for slashing prey. Still others use their awesome strength to overpower victims, like the green anaconda and its deadly squeeze or the saltwater crocodile and the 3,700 pounds of sheer force it puts into every bite!

Creature Files: Reptiles features twenty of the world’s most extraordinary reptiles, with reptilian profiles brought to life by vivid photographs and a host of intriguing facts. Each slithering or stalking animal comes with a Fang File to give you the lowdown on how it uses its teeth to pierce, crush, poison, or munch its meals. Can you match the three replica teeth included to the reptilian mouths they belong to?

Amazing World: Stars & Planets – Paul Beck

Astronomers thinks almost all galaxies have black holes at their centers.

This book is a good introduction to the universe for astronomers in the making. It includes facts about the sun, terrestrial planets, gas giants, ice giants, dwarf planets, moons, comets, nebulae and galaxies. You’ll learn a little bit about each of the following:

  • The Sun
  • Mercury and Venus
  • Earth and Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • Pluto
  • The Moon
  • Europa
  • Titan
  • Comets
  • Orion Nebula
  • Eagle Nebula
  • Bubble Nebula
  • Ring Nebula
  • Cat’s Eye Nebula
  • Crab Nebula
  • Andromeda Galaxy
  • The Milky Way
  • Sombrero Galaxy.

On a dark night away from the city lights, you can see the Andromeda Galaxy without a telescope. It looks like a faint smudge in the sky. At 2.5 million light-years away, it’s the biggest, farthest thing you can see with your eyes alone.

I enjoyed the bite-sized pieces of information. I would have used this book as a resource for a school project but likely would have needed additional books to supplement it.


As the moon travels around the earth, it turns so that the same side is always facing the planet.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and becker&mayer! kids, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

There is more to outer space than what we can see in the night sky. Explore it all with Amazing World: Stars & Planets and be a real space traveller.

How is a star born? Why does it die? What is the difference between a star cluster and a planetary nebula? Discover the answers to these questions and more in Amazing World: Stars and Planets! This exciting exploration is a door to the infinite realm beyond the pale blue dot we call home.

From stellar nurseries, to glowing green clouds, to spiral galaxies, find out about the dramatic lives of these explosive players in our universe. This is the perfect introduction to the great celestial bodies of outer space for science lovers and their children. Kids will love the gorgeous, bright images, and will also learn quickly from the easily digestible bites of information on each page.

Amazing World: Stars & Planets also includes a collection of glow-in-the-dark stickers to put on notebooks, folders, bedroom ceilings, anywhere!

Amazing World: Sea Creatures – Lee Martin

I’ve been fascinated by anything that glows in the dark since I was a child so when I first heard of bioluminescence I was enthralled. Even now I react with childlike wonder whenever I see sea sparkle photos.

The word bioluminescence is made up of two parts – bio, which means “living thing” and luminescence, which means “light” – so, living light.

This book provides some fun facts about twenty living lights:

  • Dinoflagellates
  • Velvet Belly Lanternshark
  • Gulper Eel
  • Anglerfish
  • Lanternfish
  • Shortnose Greeneye Fish
  • Hatchetfish
  • Firefly Squid
  • Glass Squid
  • Bioluminescent Octopus
  • Atolla Jellyfish
  • Crystal Jelly
  • Lined Seahorse
  • Bloodybelly Comb Jelly
  • Bobtail Squid
  • Giant Clam
  • Long-Armed Brittle Star
  • Midwater Jellyfish
  • Sea Pen
  • Sea Slug

Although they’re not officially one of the twenty, pyrosome, “the unicorn of the sea”, were also mentioned. I had to look them up because they sounded so interesting. (More info here)

Some of the facts were really interesting.


The Atolla uses its light to attract predators rather than chase them off. It is nicknamed the “alarm jelly” because when threatened, the Atolla flashes blue, bioluminescent light around its ring, like a police siren. It can project its light as far as 300 feet (91 m). When it flashes, curious larger predators come sniffing around and are drawn to the predator that was stalking the jelly.

Others were nightmare fuel.

As a young fish, the male latches onto a female anglerfish like a parasite. After the male digs his sharp teeth into the female, its mouth releases a special chemical that sort of melts her flesh. Over time, the male’s body joins with the female, and he loses all of his internal organs except for his reproductive organs. A female anglerfish can carry more than six males on her body!


Stats provide facts about the length of each sea creature and their diet, as well as the depth and parts of the ocean they are found. Readers will be able to easily visualise the length of each creature because they’re compared to objects like soda cans, baseballs and ice creams. There is a glossary at the end of the book.

As a child I would have probably only used this book for a school project. Adult me loves all of the photos and fun facts. As I’m getting older I’m finding that I’m paying more attention to the beauty that surrounds me. Being able to read little tidbits about different plants and animals only adds to my awe of nature. There are quite a few sea creatures included in this book that I need to learn more about.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and becker&mayer! kids, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Some ocean animals have the incredible ability to make their own light! Amazing World: Sea Creatures shows off twenty of these unique animals with facts and photos.

From the lanternfish, to the Atolla jellyfish, to the glowing bioluminescent octopus, the ocean is filled with animals that gleam and glow. Go on an electrifying journey to see how these living lights use bioluminescence, fluorescence, and symbiotic bacteria to light up! Amazing World: Sea Creatures reveals the fascinating lives of strange and amazing marine animals.

This beautifully illustrated and photographed book for kids explores twenty incredible creatures you’ll only find under the sea. You will learn how each of these underwater animals create their own light, and how they put it to good use. Is that wasn’t enough, Amazing World: Sea Creatures even includes a sheet of glow in the dark stickers!

You won’t believe all the cool, beautiful, and sometimes downright weird animals that live under the ocean. They’re not aliens; they’re sea creatures!

The Cursed Castle – L.J. Tracosas

Illustrations – Turine Tran

I’ve wanted to explore an escape room ever since I first learned of their existence. The need has been even greater since I saw Escape Room and watched the Roses navigate one in Schitt’s Creek. After reading this book it has become abundantly clear that I should never be allowed to enter one.

See that skeleton in the Alchemy Room? That’s me. It took a little longer than expected for me to solve the puzzles. Please say ‘hi’ to me on your way past.


Make sure you pay attention to both the words and the details in the illustrations in each room. Although none of them will explicitly say, ‘Hey, you! This is how you solve this room!’, there are clues that will tell you what you need to do. Some are much harder than others and attention to detail is key. There are word, sudoku, counting and logic puzzles included, so it helps if you’re a bit of an all-rounder.


Handy Hint: You’ll find clues for solving each room’s puzzle near the end of the book. It would have been super helpful had I known this earlier. In the print version, these will be hidden pull tabs.

And if all else fails … there are answers at the very end of the book. If you’re really stuck please know you have the option to cheat your way to the next room. You don’t need to become a skeleton like me!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and becker&mayer! kids, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Part choose your own adventure, part seek and find, part escape room, The Cursed Castle: An Escape Room in a Book features 48 pages of detailed illustration and puzzles in both art and text. Savvy sleuths will identify missing pattern pieces and break complex codes. Hidden pull tabs reveal hints when readers get stuck and confirm the answers to solved puzzles.

All the fun of an escape room, held in one hand! Travel into a medieval world and face the cursed castle. Before he disappeared, the old king left clues all over his castle, from the courtyard to the dungeons. Can you solve his puzzles to save him? Or will you become another victim of the castle’s curse? Challenge your mind with sudoku, ciphers, word searches, logic puzzles, mazes, code-breaking and more! Solve the puzzles, break the codes, and detect the patterns to save the king and escape the castle!

Creature Files: Predators: Discover 20 of Nature’s Most Ferocious Hunters – L.J. Tracosas

This is the sort of book I would have loved to borrow from the library when I was a kid. It provides information about 20 predators, including wolverines, bald eagles, polar bears and Tasmanian devils. Readers will learn where each predator lives, their size and weight, and some introductory information about how they live.

Special attention is paid to claws and how each animal uses them, whether for hunting, defending themselves, climbing or burrowing. There are photos of each predator, including a close up of their claws.

My favourite facts were:

In one meal, a full-grown wolf can eat up to 20 pounds of meat – that’s like eating 80 hamburgers.

A grizzly’s claws can be up to 6 inches (15.2 cm) long and as thick as a person’s finger.

Once they sink their teeth in for even a single chomp, the Komodo dragon’s work is done. Their spit contains so many bacteria that even if dinner manages to get away, it’ll eventually collapse from the poison.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – becker&mayer kids! for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

There’s no need to fly around the world to see the more fearsome predators out there Creature Files: Predators brings them straight to you! Check out incredible animals from the arctic to the savanna.

Don’t make any sudden movements, because from the savanna to the snowy Arctic, vicious predators are poised to pounce! In Creature Files: Predators, you’ll take a tour around the globe, learning about hunters like the lightning-fast peregrine falcon and the elusive snow leopard.

Experience the fascinating world of claws and talons through this guide filled with juicy facts to chew on – like how grey wolves can eat up to twenty pounds in one meal, and the largest land predator (the polar bear) can weigh up to 1,200 pounds. Animal lovers will find plenty of tidbits, such as which creatures are fastest, where they live and what they eat.

With beautiful photos on every page, this interactive tour also includes maps and even three realistic replica claws of some of the world’s most fearsome predators!

Monster Sharks: Megalodon and Other Giant Prehistoric Predators of the Deep – Brenda Gurr

Illustrations – R.J. Palmer

Monster Sharks: Megalodon and Other Giant Prehistoric Predators of the Deep is an interesting introduction to prehistoric sea creatures, providing facts and speculations about their lives based on fossils that have been discovered. The book begins with an overview of the three eras the animals lived in before focusing on various types: Megalodon and other prehistoric sharks, Dunkleosteus and other placoderms, Temnodontosaurus and other ichthyosaurs, Elasmosaurus and other plesiosaurs, Kronosaurus and other pliosaurs, Tylosaurus and other mosasaurs, Livyatan and other prehistoric whales, and an overview of other prehistoric sea monsters. Finally there is some information about modern sea monsters and a glossary.

My favourite facts were:

T. rex weighed about the same as an African male elephant. But experts think that Megalodon might have weighed about the same as ten elephants!”

Dunkleosteus had an impressive skill. It could open and close its enormous jaws in a fraction of a second. This was so fast that it created a vacuum that pulled its prey (along with plenty of water) into its mouth.”

“Its eyes are thought to be the largest eyes of any animal – ever. They were almost the size of dinner plates!” [this quote is about Temnodontosaurus]

Kronosaurus [KRONE-oh-SAWR-us] is a pliosaur named after Kronos, a thoroughly nasty Greek god who swallowed all of his children. (Don’t worry, they turned out fine.)”

“Like a snake, Tylosaurus had a double-hinged jaw.”

“The name Livyatan comes from the Hebrew spelling of Leviathan, a biblical sea monster.”

“Its neck was about three to four times the length of an adult giraffe’s! It made up about half of its body length and contained more than seventy bones.” [this quote is about Elasmosaurus who looks suspiciously liked the Loch Ness monster but apparently isn’t]

I liked the conversational tone of the writing and the comparisons made between animals or objects kids would recognise and the size and weight of the prehistoric creatures described in the book. The length of each animal is illustrated against a coast guard lifeboat. Similar books I’ve read have compared animals to the height of an average adult; as a kid I would have found it easier to imagine an animal’s size if I was using a person as the comparison rather than a boat. Even now I appreciated the pronunciation help for some of the more unusual names.

The illustrations are detailed and the layout is interesting and varied. Photos are also used where possible to show fossils and animals children will be familiar with. A lot of the illustrations feature animals about to eat other animals or engaged in fights, which may be scary for some readers. Occasionally the white writing was difficult to read when it was against a pale background but I read this ARC on an iPad so this may have been fixed prior to publication.

I imagine I would have gotten a good grade if I’d used this book to research a school project and it’s the type of book I would still borrow from the library because you can never know enough cool facts about Megalodon and its meals. I definitely need to check out the Megalodon skeleton that comes with this book (instructions for assembling it are included – whew!).

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – becker&mayer! kids for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Monster Sharks: Megalodon and Other Giant Prehistoric Predators of the Deep brings real-life sea monsters back from extinction and up from the ocean depths!

Did you know that the prehistoric mega-shark called Megalodon was thirty times larger than a great white shark? If Megalodon were still alive, it would be able to destroy entire boats and swallow people whole! This nightmare-inducing shark continues to fascinate – and horrify! – shark fans everywhere.

Monster Sharks: Megalodon and Other Giant Prehistoric Predators of the Deep brings to the surface everything there is to know about this famed monster and explores other giant sea monsters from the past, including Tylosaurus (the deadliest marine hunter of its time) and the Elasmosaurus (a swimming reptile with a neck four times longer than a giraffe.)

Bring Megalodon to life with this 17-piece, 8.5″ long, intricately detailed Megalodon skeleton, complete with a 2-part stand. Assemble it yourself! 

Creature Files: Sharks – L.J. Tracosas

🦈 SHARK!!! 🦈

I’ve been fascinated by sharks ever since I first watched Jaws when I was too young to know he couldn’t come through the shower head in pieces, magically reform and attack me while I showered (true story! 🤪), so naturally this is my type of non-fiction kid’s book. There’s enough information to maintain your interest but not so much that you get bored or succumb to information overload.

It’s the sort of book I would have used for school projects in primary school and would have enjoyed reading it just for fun as well. Besides all of the cool shark facts there are plenty of quality photographs of the various sharks and the layout is eye catching. While there’s plenty to look at on each page it doesn’t look overly cluttered.

Of the over 400 types of shark, Creature Files: Sharks provides information and photographs of twenty. I personally learned a lot while reading this book and the facts below are only a snippet of what you’ll discover.

🦈 Great White Shark – My mate Bruce from Jaws is probably the most famous Great White. These sharks can have up to 300 teeth!

🦈 Bull Shark – These are the sharks most likely to attack people and have been found with strange objects in their stomachs including licence plates!

🦈 Mako Shark – The Fastest Shark award 🏆 goes to the Mako.

🦈 Sand Tiger Shark – A sand tiger shark in a New York aquarium lived more than twice as long as the average wild sand tiger shark.

🦈 Nurse Shark – Nurse sharks live at the bottom of the ocean.

🦈 Cookiecutter Shark – The bellies of these sharks glow in the dark.

🦈 Tiger Shark – Tiger Sharks have the nickname “garbage can of the sea”.

🦈 Greenland Shark – The Slowest Shark award 🏆 goes to the Greenland Shark.

🦈 Spiny Dogfish – These sharks have been overfished and are in danger of extinction.

🦈 Lemon Shark – Their eyesight is poor so they need to rely on other senses to find food.

🦈 Sawshark – Their prey include shrimp, worms and shellfish.

🦈 Basking Shark – They form groups (schools) that can range from a couple up to 100 sharks, unlike most other sharks who are loners.

🦈 Frilled Shark – Rarely seen alive by humans, Frilled Sharks live at the bottom of the ocean.

🦈 Blue Shark – World travellers, these sharks swim about 1000 miles (1609 kilometres) each year.

🦈 Wobbegong Shark – They have flat bodies and are a type of carpet shark.

🦈 Leopard Shark – Groups of leopard sharks are social and are known to hang out with other types of sharks.

🦈 Great Hammerhead Shark – Their favourite food are stingrays but will also eat sharks, including other hammerheads.

🦈 Goblin Shark – Only 50 Goblin Sharks have been seen since they were first discovered in the late 1800’s.

🦈 Megamouth Shark – Megamouths are filter-feeders.

🦈 Whale Shark – The Largest Fish in the Sea award 🏆 goes to the Whale Shark.

Each shark file provides ‘fast facts’ which include the length of the shark and a picture showing the size comparison of that shark and a person (in feet and metres), how much the shark weighs (in pounds and kilograms) and a world map highlighting where it lives. I love that each shark file contains a Shark Bite that explains what that type of shark eats, what its teeth look like and for the majority of sharks an accompanying close up photo of its smile.

Included with the book are three replica teeth that kids can identify using their new knowledge and they can make a shark tooth necklace with the cord that’s also included. I would’ve loved wearing that necklace as a kid.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – becker&mayer! kids for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Peek into the jaws of 20 of the ocean’s most dangerous predators with the next title in the Creature Files series! Creature Files: Sharks features photos, facts, and maps that provide up-close tours of some of the most terrifying sharks in the seas.

Did you know that a shark can grow over 20,000 new teeth in its lifetime? Or that some sharks will eat anything, from tiny fish to license plates from cars?

An incredible amount of information about sharks can be revealed by examining the teeth and jaws of the 20 jaw-snapping species covered here, in Creature Files: Sharks. From aggressive sharks like the great white to the truly weird ones like the goblin shark, this book is packed with awesome photos and fascinating facts about the ocean’s most amazing predators.   

Three specially molded replica teeth are included in the front cover, so you can feel the power of a shark’s real bite – and deduce which sharks the teeth come from using your new shark-bite expertise.

This book also includes a breakaway cord to make your own shark-tooth necklace! 

Inside Out T. Rex – Dennis Schatz

I’ve now read all four books in the Inside Out series and if I was a parent I’d be buying the whole set for my kidlets. Between the die-cut models, the photos and illustrations, and the interesting information that makes you feel like you aren’t even learning, I’d have them on hand to read for fun and for use in school projects. And between you and I, I can imagine some pretty mighty die-cut model battles being fought between T. rex, the shark, the skeleton and the mummy in between reads.

This book gives readers an introduction into what scientists know about T. rex based on the fossils that have been discovered so far and based on their knowledge of other animals’ systems, how they figure out what T. rex may have looked like and behaved.

With photos of fossils and plenty of illustrations, we learn about T. rex’s skeletal system and how scientist believe its other systems may have worked, including its cardiopulmonary system, digestive system, reproductive system, nervous system, muscular system and dermal system.

  • We may never know why T. rex had such short arms but we know they were too small for them to feed themselves with.
  • Scientists believe birds are the closest relatives of dinosaurs so look at how birds’ bodies work to make hypotheses about dinosaurs.
  • The T. rex may have had a digestive system similar to an alligator.

Assistance with pronouncing difficult words such as “serrations (ser-RAY-shuns)” are included. My favourite illustration is of a baby dinosaur curled up inside its egg. Aww!

Although we may never know the answers to some of our questions about T. rex this book gives its readers plenty of examples of how scientists work out what the most likely answer is based on current knowledge. Even if questions remain, T. rex will always be the coolest dinosaur!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – becker&mayer! kids for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

The Tyrannosaurus rex has long been hailed as the king of the dinosaurs, but what do scientists really know about this prehistoric creature?

Inside Out: T. Rex offers clues to understanding the most compelling and mysterious dinosaur of them all. Loaded with awesome illustrations and captivating text, a die-cut model within the book’s pages will take you inside T. rex’s body to reveal, layer by layer, how these giant beasts lived more than 65 million years ago.

Each page will bring you deeper into the world of the Tyrannosaurus rex, and show how its specialised anatomy, from its razor-sharp teeth to its massive size, established it as the top of the prehistoric food chain.