Brilliant and interesting photographs, easily understood diagrams, and a short, informative text are the highlights of this "Patterns in Nature" series, which features titles on day and night, hibernation, phases of the moon, and seasons of the year. This title explains that the moon only appears to change shape. A clear diagram names each phase, including less familiar words like "gibbous" and "crescent," included in a short glossary at the end and illustrated with a photograph. There are photos of the tiniest sliver which appear after the new moon, which is really no visible moon at all. Sometimes the moon is shown in quiet solitude, sometimes hanging over a busy city, sometimes over a frozen field. The last page shows a full circle of the real moon's phases. "The phases are one of nature's patterns." Each title features a similar pattern diagram on the last page. Children can see the principle and learn the words that explain that principle. Each book features at least one animal in an appropriate activity for the season or time of day. There is a very short index, a list of additional books, and reference to the www.facthound.com web site with links to age-appropriate sites for each book. This is an outstanding series of concept books for new and pre-readers; the photographs make the book interesting enough to use with older children who struggle with reading and concepts.
Gillia Olson has been involved with children's literature for 15 years and a cat owner for her entire life. Her current cats, Stimpy and LeRoy, frequently get up close and personal, even when she doesn't appreciate it. Gillia lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her cats, dog, husband, and daughter.