“Top Predators” and “Who Glows There?” are just two of the 14 categories used to introduce familiar and many lesser-known animals found throughout the world.
With two double-page spreads for each category, the images of fauna, many in vivid, jewellike colors, are pictured in the sea, the woods, the rainforest, and other biomes, usually with native flora. The first, introductory spreads typically feature only one or two animals or types of animals and are most effective visually while the secondary pages in each section look cluttered, with six to eight animals in colored rectangles. These rectangles include a few sentences in a narrow black type, and occasionally a dark background obscures the text. The information sometimes veers into misleading generalities, as in the description of the leopard’s range: “Leopards can be found almost anywhere in the world.” Still, the book is full of fascinating tidbits about animals that most children do not know. Some explanatory paragraphs emphasize size; others concentrate on eating, breeding habits, or other behaviors. All mention habitat. There are no maps. There is a useful chart that classifies the animals by type: mammals, vertebrates, birds, invertebrates, amphibians, and fish. Despite the busy layout and small type, kids who have any interest in animals will dip into this book again and again. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11.8-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 29% of actual size.)
With enticing chapter headings, attractive pictures, and unusual animals, this volume will keep readers browsing. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 7-10)