Written by Ricky Gervais, Illustrated by Rob Steen

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004

There are a few things you need to know about Flanimals. And when you do, I’d keep them to yourself if I were you.

How is the author famous?  Ricky Gervais is a stand-up comedian and actor, most famous for writing, directing and starring in The Office in the UK.

This book is a guide to Flanimals, which are strange little monster-like creatures with names like Gum Spudlet and Wobboid Mump. The book is divided into three parts.  First, there’s a Spotter’s Guide, which includes a picture and description of each Flanimal, including some tidbits about its diet or lifestyle. There are 26 Flanimals profiled in this guide and in the next section, we learn a little more about their behaviors. The final section lets you show off what you learned in a series of test questions. (The answers are provided on the final pages.)

This guy is my favorite.

This little guy is my favorite.

If you or your little ones enjoy nonsense words (some which border on sounding a little bit rude) and funny imaginary creatures, then this book should be right up your alley. Author Ricky Gervais throws together some words that are just ridiculously fun to say aloud (go ahead, say ‘Frappled Humpdumbler’) and gives them very silly and mostly meaningless characteristics that are sure to tickle you as much as (or more than) your kids.  As drawn by illustrator Rob Steen, the flanimals range from the adorably cute to the bizarrely grotesque, so there’s something here for just about everyone. This initial book has spawned a number of sequels and an animated movie has been in the works for a while.

And what did we learn?  What I take away from this book is that a Plumboid Doppler may not be the best thing in the world to be, but I’d take it over a Sprine Bloat-Trunker any day.


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