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LEAVING HOME by Sneed B. Collard III


by Sneed B. Collard III & illustrated by Joan Dunning

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: March 25th, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-11454-8
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Playing on the theme of animals leaving parents or birthplace, Collard (Butterfly Count, p. 101, etc.) widens his potential audience with parallel texts in two different typesizes, and creates a subtle connection by using inclusive language—humans are not one of his specific examples, but: “Sooner or later, we all leave home. Some of us walk. Some of us crawl. Some of us fly.” The more developed comments that run beneath Dunning’s accurately rendered close-ups of juvenile and adult wildlife in natural settings focus on particular creatures, from jaguar to Jamaican bromeliad crab, albatross to spider. As several examples, such as corals, which are born in the open sea, have at best only a tenuous relationship with the premise, and the author’s last line—“A few of us even . . . find our way back”—suddenly introduces a whole new idea that the accompanying uncaptioned picture does nothing to explain, this comes off more as oblique preparatory reading for upcoming family changes than a study in animal behavior. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)