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Children's Nonfiction Environmental Science & Ecosystems

Strange New Species

Astonishing Discoveries of Life on Earth

by (author) Elin Kelsey

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2005
Environmental Science & Ecosystems, General
Recommended Age
9 to 13
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2005
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2005
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


Scientists are discovering new species everyday. Why are so many new species turning up? Advancements in technologies allow scientists to safely study remote parts of the world that were previously impossible to visit. DNA testing and genetic sequencing has become instrumental in identifying new species. Meanwhile, genetic modification has become a hot topic among scientific communities, adding a new dimension to our already-teeming pool of life on Earth. In the riveting pages of this groundbreaking book, readers will meet scientists from around the world who search for new species on our planet — with everything from submarines to spaghetti strainers! Adventure and discovery wait in the depths of the oceans, Earth’s varied surfaces, the vast expanse of sky, and beyond. Elin Kelsey’s outstanding narrative, complemented by stunning photos, draws readers right into the field with intrepid researchers, and into a world of wondrous and surprising forms of life.

About the author

ELIN KELSEY, PhD, is an award-winning author and a leading spokesperson for hope and the environment. In 2014, she co-created #OceanOptimism, a twitter campaign to crowd-source and share ocean conservation successes which has reached 90 million users to date. She frequently works on projects with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Stanford University and the University of Victoria and is passionate about engaging kids in hopeful, science-based, environmental solutions. See more at

Elin Kelsey's profile page


  • Short-listed, British Columbia Library Association, Red Cedar Book Award
  • Short-listed, Alberta Children's Choice Awards, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Short-listed, Ontario Library Association, Silver Birch Award
  • Short-listed, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year, Juvenile Non-fiction Category
  • Short-listed, Curtis Memorial Library, Cornerstones of Science Award
  • Commended, Ontario Library Association, Top 10 Canadian Children's Books, Non-fiction Category, Best Bets List
  • Commended, USA Book News, Best of the Year

Editorial Reviews

Intended for young readers seven years of age and older, the information in this well-illustrated book will interest adults as well.

You may think there is nothing new under the sun, but Kelsey shows readers that there’s a lot that is ‘new’ – and there’s plenty more out there, not yet seen and/or classified by scientists.

School Library Journal

This valuable introduction to the field is the kind of text that stimulates young science lovers into exploring a scientific career.

Deakin Newsletter

Strange New Species gives a fascinating overview, in an engaging format, of the current state of knowledge about all the weird and wonderful critters that share the planet with us.


Utterly absorbing, Elin Kelsey’s excellent discussion of recently discovered species boggles the mind with every turn of the page....Fantastic photographs, amazing facts, cutting edge information about cloning, transgenic pets…and recently discovered species…make this a real page-turner, a classic case of truth being stranger than fiction.

Island Parent

In a conversational writing style that young readers will find inviting, Kelsey clearly chows she enjoys her topic. On every page, intriguing facts will encourage kids to sharpen their observation skills…Sidebars throughout the book will inspire debate…Highly recommended.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

If the picture of the baby dwarf marmoset (about the size of a finger) on the cover doesn't get you, maybe the lizard that can fit on a dime or the pig-nosed frog that only comes out of its underground burrow for two weeks a year will. This beautifully photo-illustrated book about new species that scientists have discovered is sure to be a page-turner favorite among budding naturalists. Constantly changing fonts along with bright colors make the book visually appealing. Captions are chock-full of information, Hot Debate boxes posit interesting questions, and bios of scientists are short, snappy and very kid-friendly. It's a great resource for teaching animal and plant classification and for luring reluctant readers.

Infotech, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

Published by Maple Tree Press, [Strange New Species] is aimed at kids 7 to 15, but is interesting enough to keep an adult flicking the pages.

The Globe and Mail

This fascinating book for biology enthusiasts is drenched with glossy color photographs.

New Brunswick Telegraph Journal

With many excellent photos, this introductory book on new species will be an intriguing addition to classroom units on classification or biology.


...a wonderful tribute to life itself — dynamic and unpredictable.

YES Magazine

The press blurb calls this book 'riveting' and 'groundbreaking' and it really is....This is a fascinating science book, well-written and full of glorious color photographs.

Canadian Children's Book News

Kelsey’s captivating text, buoyed by luscious color photographs, draws readers into remote worlds and bizarre-looking creatures from the Amazon to the Arctic, from the depths of the sea to outer space.

San Francisco Chronicle

I found all of the topics interesting and the photographs were beautiful. I didn’t know there were so many cool species in the world! I had a lot of fun reading this book, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

KNOW Magazine

A multitude of photographs, capsule biographies of scientists and modern explorers, and a seemingly bottomless supply of amazing facts and figures about creatures, great and small, make this book a most appetizing prospect for the curious.

The Globe and Mail

Strange New Species will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in the fascinating natural world still unfolding around us. It is highly recommended.

Resource Links

[Strange New Species] is sure to inspire…children to investigate the animals in their own backyard.

Science News

Elin Kelsey has assured prolonged interest in her newest book through design and ease of access to her information. The photographs are telling, the text is easy to follow, and the information provided is quite amazing.

Brandon Sun

With profiles of researchers and scientists, this is a fascinating book for ages 9 to 14.

HI-RISE Community Newspaper

Kelsey packs her book with colorful photos, interesting facts, and scientist/explorer profiles. A great book for those keen to learn more about the world around them.

BC Parent

Kelsey's infectious eagerness and her eye for the kid-friendly detail may have what it takes to convert the most confirmed science-phobes.

Kirkus Reviews

With the help of vivid photographs on every page, Strange New Species tells … many … believe-it-or-not tales from biology, and includes short profiles of the fascinating scientists uncovering them.

Victoria Times Colonist

The text… is not only clear and informative, but also engaging and lively. This valuable introduction to the field is the kind of text that stimulates young science lovers into exploring a scientific career.

Okanagan College

Librarian Reviews

Strange New Species: Astonishing Discoveries of Life on Earth

Explore new species around the world! Readers are invited to swing through a rain forest and dive into the deep sea, to meet new creatures and the scientists behind their discovery.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2006.

Other titles by Elin Kelsey