The community of species is celebrated in this picture book.
With a vigorous nod to the philosophy of deep ecology, author/illustrator Salyer presents an uplifting, lively picture book that details the various ways a community structure helps a species thrive and survive. The deep-ecology message begins with cleverly designed endpapers. Illustrated in an identical gestural style and palette, the front endpapers depict a small herd of elephants that spills onto the page turn, while the back endpapers show a diverse group of human bicyclists. The body of the book begins with four double-page spreads depicting, in a glorious overall design on each, a group of individuals within a single species. While stunning in their own right, the illustrations also work to underscore the message of beauty within community, and the text sums this up: “Together, / we are better.” Amplifying this broad statement, the balance of the book details a single species per two-page spread, relating what a group of that species is called and giving an aspect of that species’ behavior. “We lions live in a pride….we use purrs, licks, and nuzzles…. / Together, we nurture!” The final double-page spread shows a diverse group of humans interacting together, with the words, “All together… / …we are better!” Final pages note the extinction danger of many species, offer ways to help, and identify the species illustrated in the book.
Part natural science, part deep ecology, wholly captivating. (Informational picture book. 4-9)