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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wild Animals, written by Eduardo Bustos and illustrated by Lucho Rodriguez.

"Koala: My home is in Australia. My fur is soft and my ways are gentle. I carry my babies on my back as we feast on the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. Just like hands, my fingers grip the branches to keep me safe."

"Spotted Owl: My enormous eyes rest during the day, but at night, I'm perched up in a tree, scanning the ground beneath me. You'll find me in North America, but don't try to creep up behind me because I will see you. My head can turn almost all the way around."

In the best picture books the words and artwork each add a dimension that alone would not have the same effect. This is such a book! The author describes 11 wild animals of the world in a riddle-like form, using each animal's voice to intrigue and have readers make guesses as to its name. Each is set on a double page spread with minimal text and eye-catching, brilliant-hued illustrations. The author makes note of habitat, place of origin, and special unique attributes. The illustrator shows the animal in profile and in full close-up. They are very striking, while almost geometric in design. If you have, or know, a little one who loves animal books, you would not be remiss in putting this one under the Christmas tree, or in a stocking.

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