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From the Touch and Explore series

by Maria Mazas ; illustrated by Camille Roy

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 2019
ISBN: 978-2-40801-284-7
Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

This board book is a tactile, factoid-filled visit with various jungle animals.

Mazas’ animal facts are paired with Roy’s clean and inviting illustrations. Some featured animals, such as the iguana, are given full two-page layouts with multiple illustrations and an up-close image while other pages include multiple animals and facts shared together. There is no apparent pattern to how the animals are featured or why some receive a more in-depth treatment. Despite this, young readers will get a kick out of the information included, especially the note about sloth toilet habits. Some of the up-close images incorporate both an inset texture to feel and labeled body parts. These are the most interesting illustrations in the book even though the tactile components don’t add much informational value. The boa constrictor works well with its touchable, bumpy scales. Overall, the book suffers from a lack of clear direction: Is it an organized, up-close look at jungle animals? A picture dictionary of assorted animals, as the last two pages featuring seven animals and a few textures suggest? A lift-the-flap book (there’s only one)? The muddiness means an unclear readership. The touch-and-feel aspect points to younger readers, but the content hits a little older. Overall, the book has high appeal for animal lovers who get a kick out of related details.

Another cute book of animal facts—but far from a must-have.

(Board book. 2-5)