Birds aren’t the only nest builders hiding beneath these scallop-edged gatefolds.
Cochrane poses clues to answer the titular question in alliterative riddles that, clumsily, all end with a pair of questions: “Who am I?” and “Whose nest?” The questions have the same answer, which are given, as are the riddles themselves, in each animal’s first-person voice. Parting the double flaps on each recto reveals one of eight accurately rendered animals, ranging from an eagle and a hummingbird to a gecko, a clownfish and a bumblebee. Troughton creates idyllic, soft-focus, close-up nature scenes within which he tucks a glimpse of leg, tail or other visual clue for sharp-eyed young viewers to spot. On the other hand, he ignores both the tree frog’s “I climb up tree trunks and perch on lofty boughs,” and the bumblebee’s “I tunnel in the deep, dark earth,” depicting the frog at ground level in a wetland setting and bees' nests lying on the surface. Moreover, children on this side of the pond aren’t likely to encounter a dormouse (though it is pretty cute).
Pretty to look at, but a thin and iffy helping of natural history. (Informational picture book. 5-7)