This companion to Wild Animals of the North (2016) portrays 88 common and lesser-known wild animals native to the Southern Hemisphere.
Braun’s luscious, geometrically stylized silk-screen prints are the main attraction of this appealing album. Some are portraits; others give some hint about the animal’s surroundings. Flamingos and hippos are shown together in a body of water, as they might be found in real life. Oxpeckers perch on a water buffalo’s head. A leopard seal chases a penguin. All are identified with both English and Latin names. Forty are accompanied by a paragraph with interesting facts, usually about a curious behavior. Hyenas are “like the vacuum cleaner of the savannah”; the galah cockatoo “is an acrobat of the skies.” The album and its picture index are organized by continent: Africa, South America, southern Asia, Australia, and Antarctica. (There are no New Zealand animals.) A world map showing continents opens this album, and shapes of individual continents serve as chapter dividers. The endpapers show wonderfully varied footprints. Calleja’s translation is usually smooth and colloquial; English spelling and metric measures are used throughout. Braun’s introduction describes humans as “intruders in the animal kingdom” and encourages our appreciation for the creatures with whom we share our planet. His work supports that goal.
An impressive display of wonders in the animal world, a treat for browsers. (Informational picture book. 5-12)