World's Fastest Animal
World's Fastest Animals
by Melissa Stewart
Sterling Children’s Books, 2014
American Museum of Natural History Easy Readers
for Ages 5-7
HC ISBN 978-1-45490-633-9
PB ISBN 978-1-40277-793-6
Purchase this book at your local independent bookseller or
What lizard moves fast enough to run on water? Which bird's heart beats 1,200 times a minute? Come learn about the world's fastest animals, from speedy cheetahs and swiftly swinging tree gibbons to colorful chameleons that flick their tongues quicker than you can blink an eye. And discover how being speedy helps a variety of animals survive and thrive.
Research Notes
“I’m a sucker for animal superlatives. And I know I’m not alone. Lots of kids are fact collectors who love learning about the fastest, biggest, strongest animals on Earth.

“I’ve tried several times to write a book on the topic, but none of them worked as well as I wanted it to. So when one of my editors asked me to write this book, I was thrilled. She narrowed the topic in a way that made superlatives manageable, but she still allowed me to think about the word “fast” in a variety of ways.

So this book isn’t just about animals that move quickly. It includes critters with racing hearts, quick claws, and other interesting and unusual tidbits. I had so much fun writing this book that it’s reignited my superlative itch. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.”

“From this varied and vibrant look at speedy animals, children will discover many intriguing facts, such as what fish is even faster than a cheetah and what bird dives faster than 200 miles per hour to catch a meal. The text is simple and easy to comprehend, while the high-quality stock photos are bright and energetic. Stewart enlivens the information by dropping in material on how long, how far, or on what terrain the speed can be maintained. She also makes use of clever ways to gain readers’ attention, such as including the surprising example of the cone snail, a creature that slowly moves across the sandy ocean bottom and whose protruding tube quickly shoots poison to capture its prey, or discussing unusual skills, such as which insect flaps its wings the fastest. This smoothly written, well-illustrated title will draw children in, satisfy their curiosity, and inspire them to seek out more information on the topic
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