Serial Killer Training Manual

Animal Autopsy coverThe Beginner’s Guide to Animal Autopsy

Submitter: This book had been sitting in our reference section for I don’t know how long. A while ago we weeded those books for space and the cover just made me flinch. Poor Teddy, sacrificed in the name of science! As you can see in the chapter heading, the cutaways shown there aren’t even real interiors, nor are these animals shown later with proper guts, like the ducky on p. 32-33. (The fish image on the cover page is also the image used for Chapter 3.) I’m sure there are much better resources for dissection available online. After this, it’s going to our Friends.

Holly: Why would this be put in the reference section? As Submitter pointed out, the book doesn’t even portray real animal organs. It’s sort of a serial killer training manual for children. Creepy!

Animal Autopsy back cover

Animal Autopsy table of contents


Feathered friends



  1. On the cover that poor bear looks terrified, inside it looks like its in shock. I’m not sure I want to know what the author was thinking, but I think the police should search their basement.

  2. What is inside the duck???? Fully formed eggs move on a conveyor belt? And the suicide sting….. Who is the intended audience of this monstrous work? It is an atrocity. This is not a “science book.”

  3. If they had just called this animal anatomy for kids it would have been a good book. Personally, I dissected my teddy bear several times. I won’t say I’m normal but hey who is?

  4. Hey, kids love this book! It IS a science book! It has factual information, just presents some of it in a fun way. It isn’t supposed to be a dissection guide, it’s a zoology book.

    My kids had this book and thought it was a hoot! They were probably 8 or 9, up to 10, and homeschooled. Maybe homeschooled kids ARE different!

    The strange duck page is misleading. Each chapter has an illustration like that, sort of like those “How Things Work” books by David Macaulay, the mechanics of it, at the beginning. Then it gets into the actual, physical, parts. The photos show the first page of chapters 4 and 5, for birds and mammals. Turn the page and you get accurate illustrations!

    If a book engages kids, and has accurate information, then I don’t think it’s “awful” at all! We need more books like that.

    1. I agree — I don’t think only homeschooled kids would benefit from this book or a book like it. I’d weed this one because it’s getting dirty, not because the information in it is weird or wrong. (I didn’t see anything outdated in the pages shown above).

      Granted, the terrified-looking teddy on the cover is strange, but the schematics on the inside that attempt to explain how organs work in ways that are familiar to kids can be helpful, and the accurate illustrations are neat. (I like the chameleon and the boxes around it outlining some of its’ stranger traits).

    2. I guess I’m weird too, because it doesn’t seem disturbing or awful to me either. But I don’t think the word “autopsy” in the title is very accurate. Plus I think “autopsy” applies only to humans. The EAN prefix belongs to Millbrook but the content looks like Workman– maybe a book packager in common

  5. The fact that the bee’s venom gland is mislabeled as poison and that they say chameleons change color to blend in ruins it. This book is factually incorrect and should be chucked in the bin.

  6. Yep, that’s definitely what the inside of a duck looks like! No question. I sure wish my biology undergrad degree would have prepared me for what’s really inside these animals!

  7. It might be a weeder for condition, but not for content. It looks like a fun, engaging children’s science book. I would have loved this when I was 10 — heck, I’d love to have it now!

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