Minor (How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow?) follows 20+ woodland creatures by day and by night in this measured volume. The animals—which include foxes, toads, and squirrels—inhabit grassy expanses and forested areas, and human-built environments are seldom in sight: a "wide-eyed barn owl silently swoops through the sky" near a house's peaked roof, and wild turkeys trot past a picket fence. Minor works in gouache and watercolor, with tiny brushstrokes and daubs characterizing his controlled paintings. While he devotes a full spread to a red-tailed hawk against a sun-drenched sky, he divides most of his spreads to show diurnal creatures and their nocturnal counterparts. "Chubby mother woodchuck and her cubs waddle out to munch in a meadow," and under a sprinkling of stars, "Fearless mother skunk leads her litter through the field." Minor's bucolic imagery suggests abundant space for humans and wildlife alike ("While you're resting, are raccoons racing by under the cover of night?"), and even if this green world is not an everyday reality for all readers, Minor's gentle scenes will draw them in. Ages 3–5. (May)
Minor’s vivid introduction to diurnal (daytime) and nocturnal (nighttime) creatures invites readers to experience the movements, sounds, colors, and textures of nature. By day a red-tailed hawk soars through sky, and by night a barn owl silently swoops through it. In the daylight a family of fluffy cottontail rabbits hops into a field to forage for food, and under starlight a family of pink-nosed opossums does the same. As day turns to night and night to day, amazing critters large and small come and go. Children will enjoy comparing and contrasting the roaming habits of the wonderful wildlife that surrounds us.
* “Gorgeous. . . . Minor relies on simple, lyrical text and stunning, full-color paintings to share characteristics of each creature, as he takes readers from day to night and back again. Many of the critters will be familiar to children, while several are lesser known. . . . Appealing, realistic illustrations. There are two pages of “Fun Facts” . . . with some interesting additional information for the most curious. This lovely title should find a spot in all collections and will likely inspire greater outdoor observation and appreciation.”—School Library Journal, starred review
“An album of contrasts. . . . The attraction of this invitation to explore daytime and nighttime worlds is visual: appealing gouache-and-watercolor animal portraits display Minor’s characteristic use of light and color, meticulous detail, and appreciation for nature. . . . For storytime or laptime, another beautiful rendition of the natural world.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Minor’s bucolic imagery suggests abundant space for humans and wildlife alike, and even if this green world is not an everyday reality for all readers, Minor’s gentle scenes will draw them in.”—Publishers Weekly
“In his signature representational artistic style—detailed, luminous, and pristine—Minor compares and contrasts diurnal and nocturnal animals.”—The Horn Book
PreS-Gr 2—This gorgeous picture book provides a look at animals that are active during the day (diurnal), those who come out at night (nocturnal), and a few that appear at sunrise or twilight (crepuscular). Minor relies on simple, lyrical text ("Speedy gray squirrel scurries all day in search of acorns to store for winter.") and stunning, full-color paintings to share characteristics of each creature, as he takes readers from day to night and back again. Many of the critters will be familiar to children (rabbit, deer, skunk), while several are lesser known (opossum, flying squirrel, luna moth). The use of comparisons and contrasts will be especially helpful in classroom settings, but browsers will also be attracted by the appealing, realistic illustrations. There are two pages of "Fun Facts" appended, which include thumbnail illustrations of the 22 animals, along with some interesting additional information for the most curious. VERDICT This lovely title should find a spot in all collections and will likely inspire greater outdoor observation and appreciation.—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY
An album of contrasts introduces diurnal and nocturnal animals. The attraction of this invitation to explore daytime and nighttime worlds is visual: appealing gouache-and-watercolor animal portraits display Minor's characteristic use of light and color, meticulous detail, and appreciation for nature. An opening spread shows most of the creatures described. Then each one is introduced, usually paired with contrasting animals on a spread, though there are occasional expansive double-page images. A red-tailed hawk is followed by a barn owl; rabbit and possum families face each other, as do a tiger swallowtail butterfly and luna moth, and so forth. Two or three lines of text explain each luminous painting, identifying the creature, the activity, and, often, the time of day: "Sprightly deer mouse scampers / down a log and finds a firefly. // As the sun rises, stealthy bobcat and her / kitten scope out the summer landscape." The line breaks support the design rather than the sense of the text; these are captions, not poems, but the language is interesting. Curiously, the introductory spread shows a bat, but the airborne nocturnal mammal described is a flying squirrel—a better companion for the gray squirrel that "scurries / all day." The book concludes with a spread of "fun facts," not seen.For storytime or laptime, another beautiful rendition of the natural world. (Picture book. 2-7)