A select cast of animals—many on or under flaps and shaped pages—poses in seven characteristic habitats.
Printed on sturdy stock, the painted galleries, inset flaps, spinners, and a closing pop-up mountain will stand up to the heavy use it invites. In natural settings ranging from rain forest and desert to both fresh and salt water, Wren places realistically depicted wildlife (many of the creatures looking directly at viewers) in groups that leave plenty of room for Pang’s identifying labels and sometimes-arresting comments: “The slow-moving sloth visits the forest floor just once a week to do a poo”; “Don’t mess with the meat-eating piranha and its razor-sharp teeth!”; “BEAVER: This little feller cuts down trees with its sharp teeth.” Some of the animals, such as the giant desert hairy scorpion, the panther chameleon, and a regal tiger, are particularly memorable. Inset booklets offer further introductions to, for instance, “Bugs” or “Creatures of the Deep,” and cutout windows with spinners show stages of frog and butterfly metamorphoses. Aside from a confusing use of the term “hemisphere” in the introductory spread, the information is dependable if light for the overall word count.
A good start for budding naturalists, leading naturally to more populous surveys such as Jinny Johnson’s Atlas of Animals (2013). (Informational pop-up book. 5-7)