Masters of Disguise

Amazing Animal Tricksters

  • Interest Level: Grade 4 - Grade 8
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

In the animal kingdom, survival is the name of the game—and not everything is as it seems. A number of animals rely on particularly clever tricks to fool predators or prey. A baby bird mimics a poisonous caterpillar. A moth escapes bats by making sounds that interfere with the bats’ echolocation. A tiny rain forest spider builds a big spider “puppet” out of bits of dead leaves, insect parts, and other items. Find out more about some of nature’s most bizarre and bloodthirsty con artists and meet the scientists who are working to figure out just how they pull off their amazing tricks.

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Interest Level Grade 4 - Grade 8
Reading Level Grade 5
Genre Science
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Expository Literature, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Animals, STEM, STEM: Life Science/Animals
Copyright 2016
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Millbrook Press ™
Language English
Number of Pages 48
Publication Date 2016-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 8.6
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS JNF003000, JNF051150, JNF051030
Dewey 591.47/3
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.75 x 9.75
Lexile 1010
ATOS Reading Level 6.2
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 179540
Accelerated Reader® Points 1.0
Features Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Photo captions, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, and Table of contents

Author: Rebecca L. Johnson

Rebecca L. Johnson writes award-winning nonfiction for children and young adults about scientific discoveries and the scientists who make them. She hopes her books will inspire new generations of scientists by introducing readers to some of the remarkable species with whom we share the planet. Learn more at

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  • Cybils Finalist, Nominated, 2017
  • Utah Beehive Award Nominee, Nominated, 2017
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2017


School Library Journal

“Johnson hooks readers with gripping descriptions, close-up photographs, and profiles of the various scientists dedicated to studying these animals . . . [making] it easy for today’s students to picture themselves in similar scientific shoes. This exciting and easy-to-digest title will make for an excellent purchase and addition to booktalk lists.”—School Library Journal


“This biology guide wastes no time, digging with relish into some of the weirder aspects of animal camouflage. . . . Extensive back matter provides further resources for budding scientists interested in digging a little deeper.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“[M]ost of the lineup here will be new even to well-read young naturalists. . . .®eaders are going to want to know more after these tantalizing glimpses. . . . [A] truly astonishing look at some of nature’s most ingenious predatory or survival strategies.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews