A skilled wildlife photographer captures baby animals at play and at rest in the wild.
Eszterhas, who has documented animal behavior with her camera on seven continents, offers young readers and listeners an album of irresistible images of baby animals playing, exercising their bodies, practicing skills they will need to survive in the wild, and even resting on gorilla Dad’s “soft and bouncy” belly or capybara Mom’s back. Cheetahs wrestle, and jackal cubs fight over a ball of elephant poop. A lion cub uses a stick as a toy, a bison practices her head butts. Lemurs and raccoon kits climb trees, dolphins leap, bears dance, a giraffe runs. A baby orangutan dangles from his mother’s fur, and a small chimpanzee rolls on the ground of his rain-forest home. Beautifully reproduced photographs fill each spread, sometimes with another image superimposed. Each is a close-up, crisply focused on the subject with the animal’s wild habitat a soft blur behind. Two-sentence captions introduce the young animals and explain their actions. Two pages of backmatter introduce the California-based photographer and offer additional images, suggesting how difficult her choices must have been. Even toddlers can easily associate these animal activities with their own running, jumping, swinging, and dancing experiences.
For readers and listeners alike, an appealing connection to the natural world. (Informational picture book. 2-7)