What if I told you that being small was not as bad as it might seem? In fact, it can be cool. Oh sure, we vertically challenged people might not be able to reach the average height shelf in the store and have to smile nicely to the tall gentleman for assistance, but if you were some of the animals in It’s Tough to Be Tiny you would be the cat’s meow, bees’ knees and frog of the bog!
Kim Woolcock writes about the tiny animals most of use do not see, but in many cases cannot see. Not just because they swim in the ocean, or camouflage themselves, but are so small that if my grandmothers family were these creatures and tried to do a family reunion in a waterdrop, we would have space left over for my mom’s side of the family (and to give you an idea of how large my family is, Cousin Johnny and his wife had 14 children by themselves and my mom’s mother had at least 10 siblings (I never remember if it was 13 that lived or total)).
In other words, some of the smallest creatures in the world must be clever to eat and not be eaten. Woolcock talks about how some have spring-loaded legs, some poisonous barbs and others hitch rides on other species. Some even use “pom-poms” to “box” away predators and to grab food.
Stacey Thomas completes the information with brightly colored, but not popping of the page, illustrations. The minimally detailed cartoon-like images counters some of the more extreme information (how one beetle travels through a frog’s anatomy, alive and kicking, and out the “back door” and another might get eaten by the frog, but will be spit out, jump onto the frogs back and well, “take care of business” then dine on the frog. Therefore, while it is tastefully mentioned (and thankfully not shown as I am very sensitive to anything dealing with the spine), it might not be for the squeamish reader.
Overall, this longer non-fiction picture book is well done. It might not be my favorite science book, but I love the fact that many of the animals mentioned you do not find other places. Best for ages strong six to eight or even a young nine (but know your reader as it could go slightly younger or older).