Review: Daylight Starlight Wildlife by Wendell Minor

Daylight Starlight Wildlife by Wendell Minor

Daylight Starlight Wildlife by Wendell Minor (InfoSoup)

Explore the world of animals in your own backyard that come out either in the day or at night. Shown in pairs, the various animals are awake at opposite ends of the day. Hawks fly the skies in the bright sunlight while owls glide the skies after dark. Rabbits and their babies are active in the fields and meadows in the day while opossum mothers and their babies come out and forage the same areas at night. Even the butterflies of day are replaced by the moths of night. The book moves from bright page to dark page, each equally lovely and equally celebrated. This is a nice beginning book that looks at animals of all sorts that can be spotted in backyards across the U.S.

Minor provides brief comments on each of the animals that he highlights. He smartly chooses not to make the pairings rhyme, creating instead a natural flow with his prose that makes the book easy to share aloud and a pleasure to explore. His use of only backyard animals makes for an accessible read for young children who will delight in recognizing many of the daylight animals and may be very surprised by some of the nighttime ones.

As always, Minor’s artwork is stunningly lovely. He captures both the sun yellow of the daylight pages but also the glowing blues of night. Both are presented with loving detail and care, each page as lovely as the next. Thanks to his art, this book reads as a celebration of these animals and of the different times of day. Minor’s skill with light and shadow are on full display in this book.

A beautiful look at everyday animals that are active either in the day or the night, this picture book will inspire visits to dark backyards and sunlit ones. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Nancy Paulsen Books.

Review: An Ambush of Tigers by Betsy R. Rosenthal

Ambush of Tigers by Betsy Rosenthal

An Ambush of Tigers: A Wild Gathering of Collective Nouns by Betsy R. Rosenthal, illustrated by Jago (InfoSoup)

Using wordplay and clever illustrations, this book celebrates the unique and fascinating world of collective nouns used for groups of animals. From a leap of leopards jumping through the trees near a tower of giraffes to a labor of moles working alongside a business of flies, the animals and their respective collective nouns are matched up to maximize both understanding and humor. Children will enjoy exploring these words and will puzzle over why certain animals are referred to in specific ways.

Rosenthal has carefully chosen the collective nouns she highlights in her book. She also has managed to pair them with interesting imagery in her poetry, such as a troop of kangaroos selling cookies and collecting money in their pouches. She uses rhyming couplets to make the book even more fast-paced and jaunty. The result is a book that is both fascinating and educational but also great fun.

The art by Jago takes the imagery from Rosenthal’s rhymes and turns it into pictures which add to the inherent humor. The sleuth of bears is hot on the heels of the murder of crows. His paintings make the collective nouns tangible and real, creating scenarios that are memorable.

A nice addition to the Ruth Heller books that are in most libraries, this book has a fresh tone and lots of humor. Appropriate for ages 5-7.

Reviewed from library copy.