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The Book of Animal Super Heroes
Amazing True-Life Tales; Astounding Wildlife Facts
BY Camilla de la Bedoyere
Illustrated by David Dean

Buster Books (Michael O’Mara)
7 November 2019 / Out in US 1 November 2020 / ISBN 9781780556147
Tweener / 9 - 12 Years / Nonfiction / Animals / Real Life Heroes

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


We all know that animals are amazing, but in here are tales of creatures that go the whole nine yards (ten in some cases). There are also facts about what makes various types of animals special and unique even if they are just regular members of their species.

I love the fact that this book looks just like an annual: it has the same type of hard board cover, is roughly the same size, and has a wintry scene of huskies pulling a sledge It reminds me of the Look & Learn annuals of my childhood and, like them, it is packed with entertaining true stories, colorful pictures and fascinating facts. Read about the dog who helped during an earthquake, the bear who became a soldier, the chimp whose art was sold for thousands of pounds, and the sled dog on the cover whose stamina helped deliver medical supplies. There are also themed pages that contain short accounts of famous animals and facts about them. For example, you can read about Bob the street cat and follow this with a page about famous cats, and a double page “do you know” spread about cats. Why they purr, do they have nine lives or get killed by curiosity? Or the wartime adventures of GI Joe the pigeon followed by accounts of incredible animal journeys and how animals find their way.

There are plenty of pictures to go with the text on each page, making this a very child friendly and attractive book. It wouldn’t be complete without information on conservation efforts and some sobering facts about extinction. Not all the “heroes” featured are impressive or cute mammals. Find out why dust mites are vital, what is special about tardigrades and even what went in the basket before the Montgolfier brothers tested balloon flight on humans. As a child I would have loved to have found this book in my stocking.

Reviewed 2020