Sad Animal Facts – Brooke Barker


Published September 8th 2016 by BOXTREE (first published 2016)
Author: Brooke Barker
Format: Hardback
Genre: Non-fiction, humour, animals, comics
Pages: 214
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening line:

“‘May you be a friend to every creature’ was my grandmother’s creepy inscription in the Animal Babies book she gave me the day I was born.”

Goodreads synopsis:

A delightfully quirky compendium of the Animal Kingdom’s more unfortunate truths, with over 150 hand-drawn illustrations to make you laugh and cry.

Have you ever wondered how expensive a jar of honey would be if a minimum wage for bees applied, or whether a dog cares what’s on television when they sit next to you? Once you enter Brooke Barker’s world, you’ll never see animals in the same way again.

This melancholy menagerie pairs the sweet and sad facts of animal life with their hilarious thoughts and reactions. Sneakily informative, and beautifully illustrated, Sad Animal Facts by Brooke Barker is the perfect book for animal lovers (and haters) everywhere.

My review

When I was younger I loved books about animals. I loved finding out all about them, and all the different facts. These sort of books would be my bedtime reading. So when I was in the nature/animal section of my local library, this one stood out to me.

I was also looking for a quick, fun read. This has lots of illustrations and very little words, so I picked it up and took it home with me. The story behind the author’s knowledge of animal facts is one of my favourite parts of this book, and I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever happened in her life, she was always going to write this book.

The layout is simple. On each page you are presented with an illustration of an animal accompanied by its ‘sad fact’. There’s then a funny reaction to this fact by the animal, shown by a speech bubble. The book is in alphabetical order, and split into groups of animals, such as reptiles, mammals for example.

img_4903 I raced through the majority of the book, and laughed at a lot of them. Then I wanted to share them with friends, but thought better of it because I didn’t want to spoil the best ones if they ever come to read this book. The illustrations are brilliant and super cute. I could flick through it multiple times just to admire the little animal drawings. For such simple illustrations, they have such character, and a humorous quality.

Originally I gave this book 3 stars, but since thinking about it I have bumped it up to 4 stars. My lower rating was due to the fact that I thought the whole book would be the illustrations and fact layout, but after those we have a breakdown of all the facts, with extra explanations.

This is a good feature, and gives you more insight into why these facts are true, and how scientists and researchers discovered the facts. It just delves into more detail. However, when I had read most of the book with just pictures and very little words, suddenly this section seemed less fun! For that reason I had to take a break from it, read some other things (with a lot more words and no pictures) before returning to this book and finishing off the facts.

If you’re an animal lover and want to see some cute illustrations coupled with genuinely interesting facts and witty comments from the sad animals, then find this book. I’m sure you can find it out there in the wild at your local library, as I did.

Link to the book on Goodreads: Sad Animal Facts

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