Saturday, June 30, 2012

Big As Life! Real-Size Baby Animals by Marie Greenwood

AWWWWWW! Everyone loves charming pictures of young animals, and no one loves them more than people who are youngsters themselves!

Dorling Kindersley's new nature study book, Real-size Baby Animals (DK, 2012), with text by Marie Greenwood, takes advantage of the popular toy-and-movable-book movement in this handsome, large-format book which offers full-sized vertical and horizontal gatefold pages which open up to show a variety of young animals, in natural positions and in actual dimensions.

The lead-off chapter, "Chirpy Chimps," features an infant chimpanzee holding on to a tree limb in a full-length vertical fold-out photo executed in the publisher's signature spot-art style.

Following the big-eyed baby chimp, young readers will meet a tiny new penguin, only a double handful for its zookeeper, a baby crocodile looking almost cute, playful puppies, the head and forequarters of a newly foaled pony, and a fuzzy lion cub. Other smaller animals--owlets, kittens, goats, ducklings, and lemurs--fit onto the regular large-size page format and are shown in full color with their siblings or parents, often in their preferred habitats.

Each brief chapter includes the basics of the animal's characteristics, with heights in inches and centimeters, featured text boxes with salient facts and figures (e.g., baby rabbits are technically called "kits" or "kittens," not bunnies!) about each animal, and text describing habits, behaviors, and habitats. The book contains a very helpful glossary, with terms such as "down," "camouflage," and "burrows," and additional helpful resources.

All this comes, of course, with Dorling Kindersley's usual gorgeous color photography and realistic illustrations by Jenna Riggs of these babies at play and in sleep. A great "occasion" gift and a useful and educational book to share with preschoolers or for primary grade students who need report material or just want to read about these animal babies.

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