Thank you everyone for all of the great posts each week for the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2014.
When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses
by Rebecca L. Johnson
Millbrook Press (September 1, 2014)
Audience: Grades 4 to 8
Nonfiction * Animal Defenses * Animals
IndieBound | WorldCat | Author's Website
Description from GoodReads:
Meet living things with some of the strangest defenses known to science: termites that blow themselves up to save the colony; fish that produce copious amounts of gooey, slippery slime; lizards that run on water, and more.
My thoughts on the book:
From primitive eels that ooze slime to frogs with hidden weapons in their rear toes to lizards that squirt a stream of blood at predators, Rebecca L. Johnson's newest book, When Lunch Fights Back, engages readers from the very first page to the very last one. Through the course of the book, readers learn about several different creatures and one unique plant/insect partnership and how they are each uniquely equipped for survival.
Similar to Johnson's Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead, readers learn the story followed by the science behind the story. The first story is about a hagfish (primitive eel) and how it releases "snot-like goo" when a shark tries to attack it. On the next page, there is a picture of the hagfish being held by a biologist's hands that are covered in slime. Though I am still grossed out by the first chapter, I couldn't stop reading. The "I don't want to stop reading" experience is definitely what I want students to have when reading nonfiction.
When Lunch Fights Back may only have 48 pages, but it is filled with great information and the extra resources at the end provide students with a way of learning more about the stories contained in the book. This is a definite must have in a classroom nonfiction library.
And since I am still grossed out by the Hagfish, here's a video of one:
Here is the other story that has me saying "Eww" - Horned Lizard shooting blood:
Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews: