Sunday, August 16, 2009

Where Else in the Wild?

Tricycle Press

David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy; Photos by Dwight Kuhn

Being able to disappear into their surroundings is a necessary skill for many animals. Sometimes camouflage helps them find prey or keeps them from becoming another predator's dinner. Whatever the reason, their ability to blend into their surrounding is downright amazing.

Each page consists of a clever or elegant poem paired with a beautiful photograph. The rhyme offers clues to help the readers locate which animal is being cleverly camouflaged by the flowers and foliage. And I do mean cleverly! You'll have to look very closely, as these guys are masters of disguise. Luckily for clueless parents, the photo page lifts up, revealing an identical photo beneath with the backgrounds grayed out, so the hidden animal is instantly revealed. Thank goodness for the answer key, as I stared at the Leaf Insect photo for several minutes without making any progress at all.

In addition to providing the answer to the puzzle, the lift of the page folds out to reveal fascinating facts about each animal's natural history and how it relies on camouflage to survive. The Orchid Mantis so closely mimics its namesake that it can just stand next to a flower and be nearly impossible to see. The Lined Leaf Tailed Gecko (on the book's cover) is such an expert at hiding that the people of Madagascar think these lizards are possessed by evil spirits.

Several paragraphs of information on eleven different animals makes this a fairly substantial read. Beautiful photography, fun rhymes and a game of hide and seek combine to become an incredibly enjoyable book of nature. Younger children will enjoy finding the animals, while older kids will be more apt to learn more about these animals that are able to hide in plain sight.

Subtitled More Camouflaged Creatures Concealed ... and Revealed, check out the preceding book of the same concept Where in the Wild:


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