Eating, moving, talking: “Some animals do things just like you…while others are very different!”
This British import offers informational text about animal behaviors illustrated in cheery cartoon-style pictures and juxtaposed with diverse children engaging in similar activities. The opening double-page spread asks readers, “How do you eat? A chameleon SHOOTS out its tongue to catch food.” Illustrating this are a child biting into an apple while a chameleon stands on their head, catching a fly with its long tongue. On the facing page another child talks on a push-button phone, “us[ing] words,” and “a lion lets out a loud ROAR!” Poor pacing undermines the success of the book, with each spread offering (too) many human/animal juxtapositions. Although subsequent spreads are arranged topically, there’s no sense of cohesion offered by a particular structure—the spreads could be rearranged into a different sequence without any impact on the book as a whole. The result is a title that offers lots of interesting information illustrated with pleasing, playful pictures, but it’s weakened by a lack of organization that would enable engagement and interest in accessing the information.
Not a great example of how to do expository nonfiction for young readers. (Picture book. 4-6)