What has a bill like a duck, a tail like a beaver,
and walks low to the ground like a reptile?
It’s the platypus, of course –
one of the world’s most puzzling animals.
Follow the platypus as he emerges from
his burrow and travels through the night,
gliding past wallabies and evading a hungry fox
– hurrying, scurrying, always busy,
always looking for a meal.

Illustrated by Mark Jackson
Walker Books Australia: Nature Storybooks
Hardback ISBN: 978 1 922077 44 8
Paperback ISBN: 978 1 925381 13 9
US edition: Candlewick Press
Hardback ISBN: 978 0 7636 8098 5

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“The story of the platypus is lyrical, highly descriptive and articulate. It conveys a knowledge of and love for these animals, with a level of passion so deep you can almost hear the author speak … Whiting’s language is beautifully crafted, almost poetic in places, and makes great use of similes and metaphors to enhance the reader’s understanding of both the animal and his environment. Detailed descriptions give the platypus a sense of character, although the mannerisms described are typical of the species. It is, at once, both a story and an exposition.” Katie Bingham, Reading Time

“Smoothly written and gently informative, this is a nice addition to the elementary-level nature shelf. (Informational picture book. 5-9)” Kirkus Reviews (US)

“Handsome competition for titles such as Sneed B. Collard’s A Platypus Probably, this work will attract readers with its intriguing topic and eye-catching packaging. The attractive picture book format encloses a readable, informative glimpse of one of the stranger creatures to be found on planet Earth.” School Library Journal (US)

“Whiting’s storytelling is a beautiful combination of rich descriptions and a recurring reminder of the key characteristics of a platypus, all of which gently ebbs and flows with Jackson’s soothing mixed-media illustrations…definitely an engaging and enlightening read.” Booklist (US)



2016 CBCA Notable Book, picture book category

NSTA 2017 Outstanding Trade Science Book (US)

Shortlisted 2016 Wilderness Society, Environment Award For Children’s Literature

Selected for the CCBC Choices 2017, the best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children’s Book Centre (US)

Selected for the 2017 Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year (Five to Nine category) (US)

NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge, 3-4

SA Premier’s Reading Challenge, R-2

Qld Premier’s Reading Challenge, Years 1-3

ALSC Notable Children’s Books nominee (US)

Top Five Science Books of 2015 Dr George Aranda (ABC online)