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“The Screaming Hairy Armadillo,” | Reviewed by Nelson Appell

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Sure, children know all about elephants, zebras and tigers. But how much promotion do less popular animals get, especially those with crazy-sounding names like Sarcastic Fringehead, Sparklemuffin Peacock Spider or Smooth-Headed Blobfish?

A winning book, “The Screaming Hairy Armadillo," introduces kids to 76 weird and funny animals.

Local father-son authors Matthew and Steve Murrie have written a fun, informative book sure to appeal to children interested in unusually-named (and unusual-looking) animals.

This book is a great balance of science writing, witty entertainment and colorful pictures. In explaining the names of the creatures, the authors talk about the features that give the animals their names.

They explore the scientific categories of naming alongside the popular names. For instance, the Umbrella Mouth Gulper Eel also is known as Eurypharynx Pelecanoides—and “this bad boy’s mouth is literally bigger than its body, and opens wide like an umbrella.”

“The Screaming Hairy Armadillo” is an easy, engaging read that never sacrifices facts to puns and jokes. A lot of research and care of language went into the writing this book. In addition, Julie Benbassat’s illustrations combine beautifully with the colorful pages.

Highly recommended for libraries and young readers (and parents) who love animals.

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