March 15, 2006
*Starred Review* Gr. 4-6. The cover of this uproarious, fact-filled picture book for older children can't miss: it's a photo of a grade-schooler screwing up his face in disgust at the smells of onions, a skunk, a garbage can, and a toddler's diapered behind. The fun continues inside. Each double-page spread is packed with color photos and information about the ways various animals and plants use stinky substances, ranging from excrement and musk to vomit, to mark their territory, frighten their enemies, attract their mates, and more. Readers will initially be drawn by the illustrations and the silly puns ("To pee or not to pee"), but they'll also find a wealth of fascinating, quite complex information about biology. Sometimes the chatty style is too cute, but the factual details and the photos are amazing. A lengthy bibliography, a page of Web sites, and a glossary are appended. Pair this with Robert Sedden's Yuck! (1996), which introduces kids to dust mites, fungi, and other disgusting but common critters. Hazel Rochman
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