Children's LiteratureThe excellent concept of this early reader is to show young children how a variety of animals, whose bodies are all very different, experience the sense of sight. The book begins with people: "People see with their eyes. Our eyes see colors, sizes, and shapes. Our eyes send messages to our brains. Then our brains tell us what we are seeing." Photo illustrations are colorful and engaging and often have close-ups of other creatures' heads, or in relevant cases, entire bodies, as in the case of the sea star where boxed text points to the location of its eye spot. The text is strongest when it is specific and concrete. For example, "A frog's eyes stick out from its head. Frogs can see in all directions." Or, "A sea star has an eye spot on the end of each of its arms. These spots tell the sea star if it is in a dark or light place." The text also relies, perhaps too often, upon a vague, relative term, "to see well." For instance, a snail "cannot see things well," spiders "cannot see very well," and "many birds can see colors very well." Nevertheless, young readers may find it exciting to read independently while discovering the remarkable diversity of animals' eyes and organs of sight. A note to educators and parents says this book and others in the series are especially intended for instructional reading groups. Pre-schoolers can enjoy the book as a well-illustrated read-aloud. Back matter includes a four-word glossary, books and web sites for obtaining further information about animals' eyes, and an index. 2006, Weekly Reader Early Learning Library, Ages 3 to 7.
J. H. Diehl