Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Where in the Wild?


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

Being able to disappear into their surroundings is a necessary skill for many animals. Camouflage helps them find prey or keeps them from becoming another predator's dinner. As this book shows, their ability to blend into their surroundings is pretty 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.

In addition to providing the answer to the puzzle, the opposing page folds out to reveal fascinating facts about each animal's natural history and how it relies on camouflage to survive. Brightly colored tree frogs have poisonous skin that predators won't eat. Gray Tree Frogs are non-toxic, so they rely on their rough gray-green skin to blend seamlessly against tree bark. Crab Spiders completely disappear when perched on yellow flower petals, and Green Snakes look just like thick blades of grass.   

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.

Review copy provided by Random House. 

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