Phew! The Skunk And Other Stinky Animals (Armed And Dangerous), by Greg Roza
One of my favorite aspects in dealing with animals is looking at their capacity for self-defense. Apparently, some writers or a publisher have decided that this is a great area for children to understand in the process of learning about animals, and so it is that there is a series of books of which this is a part where the self-defensive capabilities of animals is the key element of the book. This is a book designed for children, but it is designed in such a way that the child is made to understand that stink of animal is not necessarily a bad thing but can be a very good thing when it comes to keeping oneself safe in a dangerous world full of predators. And while the author focuses a lot on skunks, because their scent glands are a thing to behold, the author also manages to include a lot more than that, giving the (presumably young) reader an understanding of the various ways in which offensive smell is used as a defense mechanism for some creatures but also that there are limits to the effectiveness of this defense because not all animals are sensitive to scent, something that is especially but unfortunately true of birds.
This book is a short one at about 24 pages or so and it is full of pictures to appeal to its young reading audience. The book talks about animals that stink, as a way of appealing to the love of children in material that is gross. After that comes a look at how it is that animals make a stink. After that there is a discussion about skunks and the nature of their stink glands. After this comes a further discussion of the musk secreted by a skunk as well as a brief discussion of animals that are largely immune to it. After having discussed skunks for a while the author then moves on to other musky animals, including animals that use musk as a way of attracting a potential mate. Then comes a discussion of stinkbugs and stinky snakes, which also use stinkiness as a means of defense against potential predators. This leads to a look at some fun facts, a discussion on how one can get the stink out after one has been sprayed, and then a glossary, index, and some web sites for further information.