Collage illustrations show camouflaged animals hiding to stay alive.
This latest title by Jenkins and Page show how creatures camouflage themselves in many different environments: coral reefs; trees; flowers; forest floors; Arctic snow; leaves and vines; and rocks. Each double-page spread shows from four to seven creatures (one image shows eggs) hidden in a natural context. On the next spread, thumbnails from the previous page, silhouettes of the creatures showing size relative to a human hand or body, and a short paragraph of explanation of its camouflage techniques accompany clear images of the same creatures. The backmatter includes images of the creatures in the order shown along with a paragraph of further information, usually its size, food or feeding habits, and general location. From the crocodile fish and leafy sea dragons in coral reefs to the Namibian stone grasshopper and the marine iguana of the Galápagos, these interesting animals come from all over the world. Alas, there are no page numbers, and a couple of inaccuracies sneak in: The giant Pacific octopus is depicted as a coral-reef inhabitant when it prefers chillier waters than is typical for coral, and the trumpetfish is incorrectly indicated as inhabiting the eastern Atlantic instead of the western Atlantic. Jenkins’ torn- and cut-paper collages show remarkable artistry, and he is not the first to demonstrate this concept through artistic tools and techniques, but photographs (such as Dwight Kuhn’s in David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy’s Where in the Wild, 2007, and its sequel, Where Else in the Wild, 2009) are more convincing.
Another exploration of nature’s wonders by an author-illustrator pair who delight readers with their examples. (resources, useful search terms) (Informational picture book. 4-8)