From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6–We humans are such a bunch of wimps!…we can't live without food, or water, and just a few minutes without air is enough to finish us off. Luckily, not all life is so fragile. So begins Davies's breezy, engaging, and thoroughly informative natural history of some of the most tenacious survivors on the planet. There is life everywhere on Earth, even in the bubbling volcano, the driest desert, the polar wastelands, and much of that life thrives in conditions that humans could not endure for five minutes or less. This funny and appealing little book describes who these amazing life-forms are and how they manage to survive. Simple and inviting cartoon drawings enliven the text and convey the types of extremes in an easy-to-understand manner. This book is filled with report information, but also is interesting enough to read for fun. It will pique children's curiosity and have them clamoring to learn more about these unique creatures.–Cynde Suite, Bartow County Library System, Adairsville, GA
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*Starred Review* "We humans are such a bunch of wimps . . . all over the planet there are animals that relish the sort of conditions that would kill a human quicker than you could say 'coffin'." Davies' chatty, funny text and Layton's colorful cartoons illustrations, as playful and immediate as they were in Davies' Poop
(2004), will pull kids into the fascinating book about survival. Each double-page spread makes a wealth of information accessible to kids--facts about particular mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, bacteria, and more, which thrive in habitats ranging from polar wastelands to deserts and volcanoes. Cold-blooded frogs turn themselves into "frog popsicles" by making "ice grow between all the important bits of their bodies"; sperm whales store oxygen in their blood and muscles; microorganisms called thermophiles live near volcanoes or at the bottom of the sea and eat chemicals such as sulfur and iron; and fleas can resist gravity that would break human bones. Comparisons with humans add to the fun, whether the subject is reptiles' special pee or a camel's yo-yo temperature. Exciting biology for the elementary-school classroom. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved