Carwardine, Mark. 2008. Natural History Museum: Animal Records. New York: Sterling.
This book is another in what seems to be a recent trend, nonfiction books meant for browsing. Although Animal Records is logically organized into chapters on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and invertebrates, it is still a collection of random facts on each species.
The book begins, of course, with aardvarks.
The aardvark entry is for "most burrows." The record? Sixty entrances. Whales, for example, have multiple entries, including "worst eyesight," "longest flippers," and "best-selling record!" "Male humpback whales are the only animals that can boast a top-selling record in the pop charts."
The book is primarily text, but interesting photographs of the fearsome, funny and unusual are plentiful. The index is helpful for finding entries quickly.
This may not be a useful book for school projects, but children should enjoy leafing through Animal Records for the photographs and interesting facts. Who knew that howler monkeys can be heard up to three miles away or that the Central and South American cockroach has a wingspan up to 7.25 inches?!