Viewed through colored filters, apparent jumbles are transformed into 10 natural habitats and select gatherings of native animals.
For each of the locales—a redwood forest, the Ganges River basin, Loch Lomond, the Apo Reef in the Philippines, and more—a large wordless spread is sandwiched between a colored introductory opening with brief descriptive notes and a monochrome visual key with information about 18 wild residents. The illustrations that cover the colored spreads are made up of flora and fauna drawn with precise naturalism using one of three distinct palettes—predominately red, or green, or blue—and superimposed. To the naked eye the scenes look like garish tangles of vague shapes, but peeking through the three tinted windows in a viewer drawn from a front pocket separates the layers: into nine-member galleries of diurnal and nocturnal (or crepuscular) animals for red and blue respectively; and expanses of thick foliage or coral with green. As the author neither identifies nor describes any of the flora on view, the focus is less on natural history than on the visual trick—but the transformations seem almost magical, and young viewers will be slow to tire of switching the pictures back and forth.
Limited as a source of information but packing a big visual wow factor. (Informational picture book. 8-12)