8. Never Smile At A Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things To Remember (2009)

Author: Steve Jenkins

Truthfully, Steve Jenkins’ informative Never Smile At A Monkey should be required reading for any kids on the verge of a class trip to the local zoo. A handy guide to dealing with wild animals and other non-human creatures, Jenkins’ picture book is a one-stop-shop for parents hoping to keep their seeds away from the hospital and rabies-fighting needles.

Yet every page in Never Smile At Monkey, including that ominous cover image, instills the fear of God into its readers. The chances of anyone encountering dangerous jellyfish, cone shells, or platypuses in everyday urban or suburban life are slim to none, but what happens when Jenkins’ words of doom make one think twice about playing with the neighbor’s dog, petting a friend’s domesticated turtle, or glancing at their grandmother’s mean-spirited cat? Next stop: paralyzing anxiety.