Noses and teeth, horns and beaks, tusks and frills—odd, silly and sometimes scary-looking animal features help them survive.
Jenkins and Page have chosen 25 animals from around the world to tell readers how this works. The presentation of these adaptations gives the artist great scope to show off the remarkable images he can create out of cut and torn papers. A single animal head stares out from most pages. The eyes pop, and the curious features are prominent in these striking images, set on solid-colored backgrounds. The informational text is introduced with a question: “Dear hamster: Why are your cheeks so fat?” The voice of the animal answers: “That’s not fat—it’s my dinner.” Feathers can threaten predators or direct sound; feathery appendages on an axolotl are actually gills. A carrion-eating vulture stays clean without feathers on its face. A blobfish out of water is squished by gravity; a puffed-up puffer fish is hard to swallow. The question-and-answer approach draws readers in, offering room for surprise and a child’s own theories. The last page shows all 25 creatures (plus an adult human) in silhouette and to scale, noting what each eats. Maps show where on various continents or in which oceans each can be found.
From a skilled team, another intriguing invitation to explore the animal world. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 4-8)