Beastly Puzzles

Rachel Poliquin
Byron Eggenschwiler

This book asks children: If you're given a list of features and characteristics, can you guess which animal they make? This might seem easy enough. But solving the puzzles in this book is deviously, outrageously, almost impossibly tricky! Though the thirteen animals included are easily recognizable --- such as polar bear, snail, ostrich, pufferfish --- the clues are unexpected. For example: “3 billiard balls,” “dinosaur feet” and “five feather dusters.” And to further complicate matters, the clues are presented in scenarios unrelated to the animals --- the ostrich is composed of items in a “gentlemen's den” and the pufferfish clues are items in a spy submarine. Once readers make a guess (or if they get stumped!), they can open the gatefold to reveal the animal, with each clue explained and lots of additional fascinating facts.

Author Rachel Poliquin's concept for this intriguing, one-of-a-kind book is a spin on early natural histories, which introduced new animals by describing them as a hodgepodge of parts taken from familiar creatures. A beaver, for example, was described as being composed of a flounder, an otter, goose feet, squirrel paws and a rabbit's front teeth. The back matter includes a note explaining this, accompanied by visual references. Artfully and intricately illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler, this innovative book offers an engaging mix of art and information that's sure to pique readers' curiosity. It works perfectly to enhance a broad range of life sciences curriculum topics, including animal adaptations, characteristics, evolution, ecology, habitats, ecosystems, biodiversity and food webs. The guessing-game format encourages inquiry-based learning --- and plenty of fun!

978-1-77138-913-6 | May 7, 2019
List Price: USD $16.99, CAD $18.99
4-color 8 x 11 32 pages
Grades: 2 To 5 / Ages: 7 to 10
978-1-5253-0397-5 | May 7, 2019
List Price: USD $11.99, CAD $11.99

Educational Resources

Awards & Reviews

“Definitely bamboozling---but in a good way, as exercises in unconventional logic.”
— Kirkus Reviews, February 2019
“... children and adults alike will have a blast guessing each animal.”
— School Library Journal, Starred Review, April 2019
“This book is a superb combination of problem solving, picture searching and animal science.”
— Calgary Herald, May 2019
“... a fresh take on one of the more traditional kidlit categories.”
— Quill & Quire, Starred Review, June 2019
“... highly enjoyable and engaging ...”
— CM Magazine, September 2019
2021 - Rocky Mountain Book Award, Short-listed
2020 - Hackmatack Children`s Choice Book Award, Hackmatack, Winner
2020 - Maine Student Book Award, Maine Library Association, Long-listed
2020 - Information Book Award, Vancouver Children`s Literature Roundtable, Short-listed
2020 - Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children`s Non-Fiction, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Short-listed
2019 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2019 - OLA Best Bets, Ontario Library Association, Winner

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