Title: The World’s Most Pointless Animals (or are they?)
Author/Illustrator: Philip Bunting
Published: July 2021
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Readership: Children’s Picturebook
I received a copy of The World’s Most Pointless Animals from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
We share our planet with some truly weird and wonderful creatures, from blobfish to pink fairy armadillos, who all (let’s be honest) seem pretty pointless. But what do these creatures actually do?
A witty, quirky, colourfully-illustrated book featuring some very silly animals.
With a humorous, sardonic tone throughout, it contains funny labelled diagrams and some excellent made-up Latin names (n.b. the jellyfish’s scientific name is not actually wibblious wobblious ouchii…) but, importantly, it conveys genuinely fascinating facts about these animals, who are perhaps not so pointless after all.
Philip Bunting’s books are known for two things – the incredibly adorable illustrations and the humour that he injects into all of them, regardless of whether they’re fiction or non-fiction. The World’s Most Pointless Animals (Or Are They?) is the latest in his non-fiction book collection and features around 50 weird and wacky animals and the things that make them unique.
Laid out exactly like an information book for kids, =most pages feature one animal per page (although a lucky few get a double-page spread) with a large, clear illustration with labels and a scientific name. If, by scientific name, you mean a cute joke-ish scientific name that will make kids laugh when you say it out loud. Bunting’s humour shines through as he highlights the kind of animal facts kids would love – the weird, the wacky and the downright silly.
Obviously, the word ‘pointless’ in the title is more to draw in audiences than to suggest that the animals themselves are pointless in the grand scheme of the animal kingdom. Bunting’s draw has always been to find the humour in a situation, and to engage readers (even the most reluctant ones) by catching their attention. This is definitely a great way to ease readers into non-fiction books in a fun and accessible way – although there should probably be a conversation in there for younger readers who might need help unpacking some of the humour.
Ultimately, this non-fiction picture book is geared slightly older – think middle-grade age range (unless with support) – and is a delightful feast for the eyes and for anyone who wants to learn some funny facts about animals.