Children's LiteratureThis entry in the "Wild Wild World" series contains an animal overview, interesting facts subcategorized by headings of double-page spreads (e.g., "Many Kinds of Food" or "Special Defenses"), and lots of photographs arranged artistically or sequentially to illustrate a concept. While the photographs lack captions, they surround and face the short paragraphs of text that appear on each page. For instance, on a page discussing special defenses of butterflies, photographs showing butterflies with false eyespots or camouflaged with a shape like a dead leaf match the information in the text. However, by not using captions the series misses the chance to educate children on how to "read" the photos more deeply or to confirm what we think is being pictured. A three-word glossary and no index make this an additional purchase for most libraries. Perhaps families could read this book as an introduction to the topic because the good pictures will stimulate conversation and might lead to research in more complete texts. 2003, Blackbirch Press/Gale Group, Ages 7 to 11.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.