Phenomenal photography, some solid facts and the ever-popular topic of baby animals combine to make the kick-off of Eszterhas’ Eye on the Wild series an auspicious one.
The text follows a newborn gorilla from birth to age 6, the age of maturity, although the majority focuses on her first two years of life. From nestling in her mother’s arms and napping to sucking her thumb and drinking her mother’s milk, the activities of the baby gorilla are sure to bring to readers’ minds the care of a newborn human. Eszterhas strengthens this connection by slightly anthropomorphizing the actions, feelings and intentions of her subjects: “Sitting on Mom’s head gives her a great view and is good fun, too…. One of the baby gorilla’s favorite games is piggyback riding, cruising around on Mom’s back.” Short paragraphs and easy vocabulary make this accessible to children in the early grades, while the photos will enthrall all audiences. Known for her work with newborn animals, wildlife photographer Eszterhas makes good on her reputation. Readers are treated to amazing views of the baby gorilla, her family and her natural habitat. Backmatter offers children more facts about gorillas, along with a website for more information. Publishing concurrently is Cheetah, while Brown Bear and Lion will follow in August.
A solid start to a new series. (Nonfiction. 4-8)