Mad About Megabeasts by Giles Andreae and David Wojitowycz
Mad About Megabeasts is the second book in this wonderful series that I have been lucky enough to read with Miss 2. And re-read. And re-read. And just one more time. Pleeeeeease.
The language is in a fun rhyme that is a delight to read aloud, and bright cheerful images turn the most ferocious of animals into a warm fuzzy hug. Perhaps this is not the best book if you are trying to teach your child the dangers of the Siberian Tiger, but as an enjoyable story to share it’s a winner.
This is a feel good look at some of the biggest animals that have ever roamed the earth, with quite a few surprises.
Some of us like grass and leaves
And other tasty plants.
Some eat up whole animals
Without a second glance!
The first thing that really surprised me is that they’ve opened with “Woolly Mammoth” as their first megabeast. Don’t get me wrong, mammoths are cool, and it’s true that they were huge, I just found it unexpected. If I’m to be brutally honest, I was a little disappointed. The mammoth isn’t really hairy enough to be easily differentiated from an elephant, so I’ve given up trying to correct. Our first beast is a big, big, elephant.
Written loosely in an encyclopaedic style, each megabeast gets its own two page spread and the authors cover quite a variety of megabeasts. Yet in only four lines for each megabeast don’t expect a dissertation.
- Woolly Mammoth
- Emperor Penguin
- Elephant Seal
- Giant Squid
- Giant Manta Ray
- Blue Whale
- St Bernard
- Siberian Tiger
- Brown Bear
It is a toss-up as to which is the absolutely cutest most adorable megabeast between the Giant Manta Ray and the Giant Squid. Although the Brown Bear does look remarkably like a teddy. While the images are delightfully sweet, and the rhyming fun, the actual text is occasionally amusingly grim (if full of excellent advice)
I’m the Siberian tiger
The largest big cat in the land,
So don’t try to stroke me
Or tickle or poke me
Because I’ll just bite off your hand!
I was going to complain about the Argentinosaurus being pink, until I thought I’d best actually check. Sure enough, they were, apparently, a pinkish brown colour. So don’t let it be said that you can’t learn a thing or two from picture books, no matter how old you are (there’s also a very handy pronunciation guide for the Argentinosaurus).
Definitely a great picture book for early readers or as a read aloud story time book.
Giles Andreae is the author of Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, another favourite in this house, and with David Wojtowycz has a whole series of fantastic picture books that are sure to delight.