The enthusiasm for wildlife shared by this mother-daughter naturalist team (Walrus: On Location) shines through once again in their latest effort, an alphabet book featuring animals and insects indigenous to the Amazon rain forest. Minimal text-the name of the creature and, when warranted, parenthetical pronunciation guides-leaves all of the reader's attention to the wondrous photographs. Similar in clarity, composition and style to National Geographic images, examples of various animal species in natural settings illustrate the letters of the alphabet. P for "Parrot," for instance, features four types of hookbills. Facts on all of the animals are included in brief, informative endnotes. The strikingly similar Amazon Alphabet (reviewed above), with its lustrous, realistic oil paintings, bespeaks a more subtle artistry, but the Darlings succeed heartily in what they set out to accomplish: introducing young readers to some of the exotic inhabitants of a remote, largely unexplored place. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)
- Marilyn Courtot
This mother daughter team introduces an array of rainforest creatures. Each page presents the capital and small letter and a large beautiful full color close-up photograph of the animal with its name and a pronunciation guide under the picture. The introduction and endnotes tell readers about the rainforest and the animals pictured. The book is more useful as an introduction to Amazonian fauna than as a tool to teaching the alphabet.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2This alphabet book attempts not only to help children learn their ABCs, but also to broaden their view of the world. Even the familiar butterfly and damselfly become exotic, as the full-color photographs illustrate four butterflies unlike any seen in American backyards and a damselfly with bright golden wing tips. Pronunciation guides accompany some of the photo captions. Some of the double-word entries are a stretch for the letter, e.g., Urania Moth, Vine Snake, and Walking Stick. The pages themselves are jungle green with the photos framed with red borders. Each upper- and lowercase letter pair is printed in a clean, straightforward typeface in a small square in the outside corner of each page, red letters against a yellow background. The full-page photos are bright and colorful, but not distinctive. The egrets, oropendola, and tapir, for example, are blurry. Occasionally, the background intrudes upon the subject, making the pictures of the hoatzin and jacana appear cluttered. The red-tailed boa is difficult to find curled around green and brown vegetation. The final pages describe the three vertical sections of the rainforest and offer brief, general descriptions of the animals and insects named in the text.Frances E. Millhouser, Chantilly Regional Library, VA
This alphabet book introduces animals of the Amazon rain forest. Each page features a letter, upper and lower case, and is illustrated with one large, full-color photograph or, in a few cases, four small ones. The appended pages of notes introduce three layers of the rain forest, explain why the Amazon isn't classified as a jungle, and provide paragraphs of information about the animals, from agouti to zorillo. Although the appended note on the x-ray fish states that their skin is "as clear as glass. You can see their insides right through it," this intriguing quality does not show up well in the photograph. The other illustrations, however, are generally clear and often striking depictions of the animals in their habitat. Given the demand for materials on the rain forest at the primary-grade level, this book will be a useful addition to many library collections.