Very young readers trail paths of baby-animal tracks to reveal unique attributes for each.
Visual clues planted in soft, light, earth-toned illustrations are accompanied by a prompt to readers to guess each animal. On recto, “Who walks in the mud?” appears above several dog prints and a small pink bone. The verso after the page turn reveals “A puppy” happily wallowing in the mud. A new question on recto introduces the next young animal’s characteristic and distinctive footprints to be followed after the page turn by its newborn name. Text next to webbed prints and cloven hoof marks respectively inquire, “Who waddles to the pond? / A duckling”; “Who stands up soon after birth? / A fawn.” Readers learn that a sea turtle hatchling “crawls to the ocean,” a rabbit kitten “hops from here…to there,” a penguin chick “walks in the snow,” an armadillo pup “digs holes in the ground,” a hermit crab (no special name for its young is given) “wears a borrowed shell,” an alligator hatchling “warms up in the sun,” a woolly bear caterpillar eats green leaves, an ostrich chick is hatched “from the biggest egg,” and an elephant calf “likes to play in water.” The final baby, a pale-skinned, pigtailed child with 10 toes and two heels, “learns to walk on two feet.” The simple, patterned presentation neatly imparts multifaceted information, and a handy, succinct addendum will encourage second and third views.
Effortlessly enlightening. (Informational picture book. 3-6)