Published by: Darby Creek/Lerner, 2007

Awards: Orbis Pictus Honor Book, 2008. New York Public Library's One Hundred Best Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2007.

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Copyright © Marilyn Singer 2007




Don’t Eat, Don’t Touch, Don’t…Well, Just DON’T!

All over the world there are animals that can hurt or kill you with a bite, a stab, a sting, or a spit–and others that can hurt or kill if you bite them. These creatures can be found in many habitats. They ride the waves. They hide in the sand. They coil around branches. they buzz around the garden. They even sleep in your closet. And every one of them is toxic.

Some animals are poisonous. They can make you sick if you eat them or if you absorb their toxins through your skin. They use their poison purely as self-defense against predators, and that includes people. Sometimes a poisonous critter tastes bad enough to make a predator spit it right out. If your dog–or you–were to bite a toxic toad, yuck! but sample some puffer fish, and chances are you wouldn’t even know you could be consuming a poison that might kill you.

The most famed toxic critters are venomous. This means they must inject their poison–their venom–into a victim by means of fangs, teeth, spines, stingers, or spurs. These creatures include snakes, spiders, jellyfish, bees, wasps, scorpions, and a bunch of less familiar animals. But believe it or not, if they can avoid it, none of these creatures wants to waste their venom on inedible YOU!