Small humans whose parents read to them will find fellow feeling with the well–cared-for wild babies in these pages.
Judge, who has a particular gift for animal portraiture that connects other living things to human understanding, offers a look at 26 species of mammals as infants. These babies have much in common with their human audience: the need to eat, to be protected, to be caressed, to move around, to play, to learn. The words “the baby” precede each examination of how baby mammals begin to grow (“The baby is hungry”; “The baby is part of a family”), creating a memorable, participation-inviting pattern. Judge’s soft pencil or charcoal lines capture the proud, wary, protective looks of parents, mostly mothers, and the slightly dazed, open look of the very young. Two marsupials (a kangaroo and a Virginia opossum, looking much like the old woman who lived in a shoe) are included, as are the marine mammals sea otters, hippos and polar bears—but no whales. Text in a comfortably large font against open space conveys just enough, while individual backmatter paragraphs provide more in-depth information about the specific circumstances, habitats and adaptations of each animal. A brief glossary uses the occasional difficult word in its definitions, and the source list is mostly adult-directed, but child-friendly websites are suggested.
Warmly friendly and inviting for a wide range of ages. (Informational picture book. 2-8)