Tackling the hows and whys of six kinds of animal movement, Jenkins and Page present 46 creatures in paper collages against crisp white backgrounds.
The format is clean and simple. A double-page spread introduces a type of movement and depicts a single animal. A cogent paragraph provides reasons for the adaptation. A common octopus is shown walking on the seafloor on two of its eight legs. Walking “doesn’t take a lot of energy, and the slow pace makes it easy to watch for food or danger.” The next spread presents six walkers—some of them surprising. The red-lipped batfish and sea pig also walk on the seafloor. A fishing spider can walk on water’s surface, and a red kangaroo uses its tail as “a fifth leg.” The narrative section about “flying” animals might more properly have been termed “gliding.” The text does distinguish between “true fliers” and “gliders”—animals that “sail through the air, but only for a limited distance.” However, only one of the section’s seven animals (the rhinoceros beetle) is capable of true flight, and common names like “flying snake,” “flying frog,” and “flying fish” further muddy the concept. Layered papers—cut, torn, and precisely chosen for color and texture—form creatures and occasional bits of habitat.
Good for browsing—with the potential for launching readers into further investigation. (glossary, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 4-7)