Each spread in this dramatically oversized book displays 30 or more different animals in thought-provoking thematic groupings: Large and Small, Hot Weather, Cold Weather, Feathered, Horned, Spots and Stripes, Friends of Mankind, and so forth. The illustrations are robust, graphic prints that will catch the eye—and the large selection of over 350 different species will make absorbing reading. Includes four pages of informational notes.
With its imposing trim size (nearly 13" 18"), this striking volume is almost literally a book to get lost in. Jolivet (Alphablock) matches the grandeur of the scale with large, dramatic illustrations of animals, insects and the like, at least 30 per spread, for a total exceeding 350 species. Working with a zoology consultant from the French National Museum of Natural History, the artist (who is French) groups the creatures by a stimulating variety of themes: natural habitat ("Hot"; "Cold"; "Freshwater"; "In the seas"), appearance ("Feathered"; "Horned"), size ("Large and small"), etc. These categories appear in modest type at the bottom right-hand corner of each spread, inviting readers to find for themselves what the assembled birds and beasts have in common. Jolivet also encourages close scrutiny by challenging kids to find the chameleon (yes, it changes color) planted in each spread. But even without these extra incentives, the audience will almost certainly want to scrutinize the art. Rendered in harmonious combinations of strong, vibrant colors, thickly outlined, the illustrations look like woodcuts, dazzlingly printed on soft yellow ground in dynamic arrangements. The name of each species is set in thin type, curving to mirror the angle of, say, the giraffe's neck or the head of a triggerfish. Four pages of endmatter index the represented species and supply additional information about each. Big as this book is, it will more likely whet than sate readers' appetites. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.