Graphic artist Weinberg’s debut picture book introduces readers to different animal traits.
“Look closely!” On the verso, a green chameleon and a leaflike katydid blend in with the surrounding leafy trees: “Some animals blend into the background”; on the recto, a peacock stands with tail fully spread against a white background: “while others want to be seen by all.” In this book’s simple text and eye-catching illustrations, young readers can compare and contrast different animals and their traits: a small ladybug and an enormous blue whale, water-bathing Japanese macaques and mud-bathing hippos. The text is occasionally playful (“Some animals eat plants. / And some plants eat animals!”) and even surprising. “Some animals exist only in stories and legends” (a winged unicorn and jackalope, among other mythical creatures), “while others are real / but seem make believe” (a leafy sea dragon and a pangolin). Ben-Day–style digital illustrations portray many of the animals with a posed quality that occasionally veers into a flat affect, but the bright colors are engaging, and the images work effectively in tandem with the text. The final spread, featuring a beige-skinned child asleep in a room full of animal artifacts, asks the question “Which animal do you like best?” and invites readers to flip back to favorite spreads or move forward to the backmatter, which offers further facts about the animals portrayed.
A simple introduction and a solid addition to elementary-age collections. (Informational picture book. 3-7)