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Friday, April 29, 2016

Pink Is For Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals. Written by Jess Keating, with illustrations by David DeGrand. Alfred A. Knopf, Random House. 2016. $21.99 ages 9 and up

"Pink is for PINKTOE
It is very easy to spot
mysterious Antilles
in pet stores, but much harder to find them in the wild. At night, they scurry out of their funnel webs ... "

For all who think that pink denotes princess parties, cupcakes, and immeasurable cuteness, this is a book that will shatter those illusions.

The only thing that this collection of very odd, and not necessarily well-known, creatures have in common is their color - pink! Other than that, there is little to make you think they form a cohesive group.

Right from the first double page spread, readers will be astounded by the seventeen living beings that Jess Keating has chosen for her informative book. Some are highly unusual, others are little-known, and there are some that will be familiar to many. On the left side, there is a clear photograph and a repetitive heading - pink is for ... On the right, a short paragraph begins the reading:

"Bizarre BLOBFISH are made of gelatinous goo, which is less dense than water. This allows them to lazily drift through the ocean like bloated pink balloons. Blobfish don't hunt for food. Instead, when something edible floats by, they simply open their mouths and gulp it down."

A second cartoon-illustrated information blurb adds intriguing bits of text to further inform:

"Pretty in Pink?
The blobfish was recently voted the ugliest animal in the world in a poll taken by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. Luckily, blobfish don't use mirrors, so they aren't bothered by their less-than-cute faces. As if this wasn't bad enough, another name for the blobfish is "fathead sculpin." These fish can't catch a break!"

Then, a sidebar gives pertinent other facts: species name, size, diet, habitat, predators and threats.
Vocabulary words that might prove difficult are shown in bold lettering, and then included in a glossary found in backmatter. The habitat of each is color-coded and plotted on a world map.  Finally, the author makes some worthwhile suggestions for those wanting to learn even more.

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