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Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs Hardcover – Picture Book, September 1, 2018

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“Friendly and approachable, this compendium is sure to create some new favorites in the animal kingdom.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“The point that every animal, no matter how seemingly weak, has ‘its own special way of surviving’ is effectively made. The narrative also offers discussion-encouraging questions, and the lively painted portraits depict the animals fairly realistically, placing them in simplified natural settings, sometimes with a humorous touch.” ―Booklist

About the Author

Melissa Stewart earned degrees from Union College and New York University and worked as an editor. She is the author of more than sixty books and lives in Massachusetts.

Stephanie Laberis is a character designer and illustrator who specializes in creating art for animation and children’s publications. She has illustrated several picture books, including My Little Golden Book of Sharks and Grumpy Cat ABC Book. For Stephanie, creating the illustrations for Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers was a marriage of her two greatest passions: art and animals. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Peachtree Publishing Company (September 1, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1561459364
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1561459360
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ AD720L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 10.6 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 33 ratings

About the author

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Melissa Stewart has written more than 180 science books for young readers. While gathering information for her books, Melissa has hiked in tropical rain forests, gone on safari in Africa, and swum with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands. She can't imagine any better job! Visit Melissa's website at or track her at

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
33 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Playful k-2 read aloud with charming illustrations
By Sunday C on November 17, 2018
2018 CRA EUREKA GOLD WINNER for outstanding nonfiction. Easy themes for a young audience to grasp—
*what seems like a weakness could be a strength
*certain adaptations help animals survive
*be careful not to judge a book (or animal) by its cover (or physical traits).

Stewart shares a fact that readers might make judgments about and then turns that judgment upside down. For example, the “hoatzin and zorillas” have nasty smells—the zorilla’s “nasty spray is stronger than a skunk’s…should they clean up their act?” (Turn the page.) “No way! These stinkers are sending their enemies a powerful message. When hungry hunters sniff a whiff of a hoatzin’s body odor, they lose their appetites. And when predators smell a zorilla’s stinky spray, they skedaddle.”

In addition to learning facts, there can be powerful conversations about how humans “judge” others (including animals) without knowing the facts or how we judge using what we know about our culture versus the physical and behavioral traits of the animal being judged.

Great for reading aloud. Playful language and challenging vocabulary (skedaddle, pipsqueak, puny, hulking, skitter, plump, blubbery).

Author’s notes about each animal at the end are tightly linked to content in the book--each note could be a second text for students to compare to content in the book. Read the page in the main part of the book while asking, “What am I learning?” and then as they listen to the author’s note, have students ask, “What am I adding to my learning?”

Could be used as a mentor text for young writers. Students can research a topic and then use Stewart’s format to present information. “Are you making a human judgment? Let me share some facts with you!”

Note - As a member of the 2018 CRA Eureka Award committee, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. AND I only post reviews of books I really like.
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Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2018
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2018
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