Juvenile non-fiction is not a strong genre of mine. I know it’s popular (especially among young boys and girls who want to read about dinosaurs, no, not a story about dinosaurs, they want the cold, hard facts) but personally I seem to gravitate more towards juvenile fiction and youth fiction.
When I saw Curious Critters by David FitzSimmons on the new shelf, I flipped through it and was attracted to the amazing photography and simple page layout. Each photo is shown on a white background. While this doesn’t give us a sense of the animals’ habitats, it does make sure that we focus on the subject. The short monologue from each animal usually tells us something about where it lives, so this makes up for the stark background. Some of the animals featured in this book are common pets (gold fish, for examples) and others are more exotic.
I started reading the book thinking “I’ll suffer through reading about some animals that I don’t care about and focus on the photographs.” Although the pictures do steal the show, the writing is concise and personable. Reading this book is like meeting each animal and getting the chance to ask them your most pressing questions. For instance, who wouldn’t ask the gray treefrog why he is lime green in his photograph? (his answer: to camouflage, of course!) Each entry is short enough not to bore young readers and gives them basic information about each animal using accessible vocabulary.
At the end of the book, there are more facts about the featured animals as well as a matching game. This book is sure to delight readers of all ages and perhaps inspire them to learn more about their favorite animals.
Are you curious about how Curious Critters was photographed? Check out this great interview with David FitzSimmons on Almost all the truth!
Recommendation: 5 out of 5 lupines