Strange, Unusual, Gross, and Cool Animals by Charles Ghigna



Nonfiction Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!


Strange, Unusual, Gross, and Cool Animals
Author: Charles Ghigna
Published October 11th, 2016 by Animal Planet

Summary: Animal Planet presents the ickiest, stickiest, blobbiest, and oddest animals in the world!

Did you know that an archerfish can spit water up to 16 feet? Or that the giant weta is the world’s largest and heaviest insect? Animal Planet’s fascinating exploration of animal oddities introduces young animal lovers to some of the most astonishing, gorgeous, and obscure animals in the world-including some brand new discoveries! Packed with more than 200 vibrant photographs and fun facts about animals with unusual behaviors, strange appearances, and remarkable stats, this deluxe gift book is perfect for reluctant readers or anyone who loves totally gross and amazing animals.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of books in the Animal Bites series benefits the principal partners of R.O.A.R. (Reach Out. Act. Respond.), Animal Planet’s initiative dedicated to improving the lives of animals in our communities and in the wild.


Review: I love learning about weird animals because it is so amazing to see what mother nature has made out there! This book shares with the reader some of the weirdest! Trent and I love to sit and look through the pages and look at the cool animals! 

What I really like about Animal Planet texts is that they have a variety of spreads throughout the text and include really interesting information but also beautiful photographs. This text has four types of spreads: Gallery, a spread that explores a theme; Featured Creature, a spread that focuses on one animal; Creature Collection, a spread that compares and contrasts a group of animals; and Macroview, a spread that shows tiny details of small animals.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: In addition to being an amazing text to have in classroom and school libraries, this text is a wonderful way to begin inquiry projects. When I teach my central idea unit, for my final assessment I ask my students to write their own nonfiction text with a clear central idea and supporting details. Many students choose animals for their nonfiction text, but it is usually the same offenders: dolphins, cheetahs, and dogs, so it would be really nice to have this text to jump start the brainstorming process.

Discussion Questions: What type of features do some animals have the help them protect themselves from predators?; Which animal did you think was the oddest looking?; Which animal do you think is not that odd looking?; Which animal would you like to learn more about?

Flagged Passages: 


Read This If You Loved: Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating and other nonfiction picture books about animals, Animal Planet & National Geographic nonfiction such as Real or Fake?, Ocean Animals, Awesome 8, Animal Atlas, or the Animal Bites series    

Recommended For:

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Kellee Signature

**Thank you Charles Ghigna and Animal Planet for providing a copy for review!**

4 thoughts on “Strange, Unusual, Gross, and Cool Animals by Charles Ghigna”

  1. We have a new exhibit at our science and nature museum–Extreme Mammals, and I just took Imogene to see it. It was awesome! I know she would love this book too! Thanks, Kellee!


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