A straightforward guessing game connects iconic animals to their habitats.
In 21 words arranged in simple sentences, Lewin offers emergent readers a pleasing package of wildlife puzzles. Keyhole images open up to double-page spreads of an animal against a white background, which is then followed by a full-page picture of that animal in its natural habitat. Lions rest in the grassland. Reindeer roam the tundra. Two wild Bactrian camels with patchy pelts stand patiently in the desert. A sea otter floats in water on its back, holding a clam. A tiger sprawls on a forest floor. All are depicted in luminous watercolors, lightly outlined with pencil. The animals are rendered in myriad shades of gray and brown; the blues of the ocean and greens of the forest are similarly varied. A culminating page connects these creatures to readers, showing “a boy…on the beautiful earth.” Behind the smiling boy, a blue marble image of the Earth is oriented so that both North and South America can be seen. The patterned repetition of the title questions and the identifiable images will make even pre-readers feel competent; they’ll need only just a little help with the habitat names to master the text.
This latest entry in the I Like to Read series can be paired with Lewin’s Look! (2012) as natural history for the very young. (Early reader. 2-6)