The Most Dangerous Animal of All

What do The Most Dangerous and news reports of West Nile virus have in common, the mosquito. When Terri Fields wrote the story of a ferocious animal contest, she had no idea how topical the book would become at the release date.

With more than 1,000 cases reported in 38 states this outbreak is the largest in U.S. history according to the Center for Disease Control.  Not all mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus and not everyone will show symptoms of the disease if bitten. However, it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites, as they are proven to transmit several different diseases to humans and animals all over the world.

Even if a non West Nile mosquito bites you, they leave behind an itchy and uncomfortable bump. The best way to protect yourself from a bite is use bug spray with Deet, wear long sleeves and long pants when you are outside and eliminate any standing water in your yard.

In The Most Dangerous, children will be excited by the parade of scary animals, but they will be surprised when the tiny mosquito shows up to the contest. Although the disease is not mentioned in the book, it is a great way to kick off a conversation about West Nile and mosquitoes with kids.

Learn more about The Most Dangerous!

Dangerous animals from all over the world gather for the Most Dangerous Animal of All Contest. Snakes, spiders, sharks . . . who will the winner be? Deadly poison, huge teeth, razor -sharp horns, and fearsome feet are just a few of the ways that animals kill. Predators mean to kill. Prey simply defend themselves. And yet, the unexpected most deadly animal doesn’t mean to harm at all!


Terri Fields (Burro’s Tortillas, The Most Dangerous) has written nineteen books which have garnered a number of awards including the Maud Hart Lovelace Award for Middle Grades Fiction, the Georgia Children’s Choice Award, being named to the Recommended Reading List for Chicago Public Schools, the TAYSHAS (Texas) Reading List, the Southwest Books of the Year List, and as one of the 100 Top Kid Picks in Children’s Books in Arizona. A long time desert-dweller, Ms Fields has enjoyed sharing her books with children all over the world. In addition to writing, Ms. Fields is also a educator who has been named Arizona Teacher of the Year, ING Education Innovator for Arizona, and been selected as one of the twenty teachers on the All-USA Teacher Team of the nation’s top educators. Terri Fields has worked with students in first through twelfth grades.  Ms. Fields sees the world around her in terms of the wonderful stories it reveals. Visit Terri’s website

Award-winning illustrator Laura Jacques is passionate about illustrating children’s books that focus on natural history, wildlife, and environmental awareness for children. In addition to illustrating The Most Dangerous, Baby Owl’s Rescue and Whistling Wings for Sylvan Dell, she has also illustrated For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson, Squirrel Assist, At Home in the Rain Forest, and Wildlife Refuge: A Classroom Adventure. Her books have won several honors and awards, including “NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children” sponsored by the Children’s Book Council and the “KIND Children’s Book Award” sponsored by the Association for Humane and Environmental Education, a division of the Humane Society of the United States. For more information, visit Laura’s website:

September’s Book of the Month read The Most Dangerous here!

Techno Turtle Tracking

Did you know leatherback turtles can grow to be 7 feet long and weigh up to 2,000 pounds? They also live to be about 45 years old, but unfortunately the length of time it takes for them to mature means it can be devastating to the leatherback population if adult turtles die. In recent years, leatherback turtles have become critically endangered due to fatal encounters with fishing gear and limited feeding grounds on their normal migration routes.

But don’t worry! Conservationists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have found a high-tech solution to this problem. They strapped satellite tracking backpacks on a group of leatherbacks in order to study their migration routes and eventually help protect them from danger. They were able to identify the migration routes that provided the most food for the leatherbacks, and they also identified the routes that presented obstacles. With this knowledge, conservationists will be able to advocate for altered fishing practices and better conservation efforts in those key areas to help change the turtles’ “endangered” status.

Read the full article here:

For more information on turtles, pick up one of our four books about turtles! Turtle Summer features loggerhead turtles and Turtles In My Sandbox features diamondback terrapins. Both books focus on conservation and proper treatment of beaches and turtle nests. For a more fictional approach to this subject matter, Where Should Turtle Be? and Tudley Didn’t Know explore turtle habitats and behaviors in comparison with other animal species.  Check them out!