An album of contrasts introduces diurnal and nocturnal animals.
The attraction of this invitation to explore daytime and nighttime worlds is visual: appealing gouache-and-watercolor animal portraits display Minor's characteristic use of light and color, meticulous detail, and appreciation for nature. An opening spread shows most of the creatures described. Then each one is introduced, usually paired with contrasting animals on a spread, though there are occasional expansive double-page images. A red-tailed hawk is followed by a barn owl; rabbit and possum families face each other, as do a tiger swallowtail butterfly and luna moth, and so forth. Two or three lines of text explain each luminous painting, identifying the creature, the activity, and, often, the time of day: “Sprightly deer mouse scampers / down a log and finds a firefly. // As the sun rises, stealthy bobcat and her / kitten scope out the summer landscape.” The line breaks support the design rather than the sense of the text; these are captions, not poems, but the language is interesting. Curiously, the introductory spread shows a bat, but the airborne nocturnal mammal described is a flying squirrel—a better companion for the gray squirrel that “scurries / all day.” The book concludes with a spread of “fun facts,” not seen.
For storytime or laptime, another beautiful rendition of the natural world. (Picture book. 2-7)