Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Curious Critters

Curious Critters

David FitzSimmons
For ages 7 to 9
Wild Iris Publishing, 2011   ISBN: 978-1936607693

Many of us are not lucky enough to meet wild animals face to face. In fact, often we try to avoid wildlife as much as possible. In this book, photographer David FitzSimmons will introduce you to just a few of the wild animals that are commonly found in the United States. They are animals that you might see in your yard, in a nearby city park, or in a national park.

For each of the animals portrayed in the book David has created a beautiful and stunningly detailed photograph. This is accompanied by a section of text that is written from the animal’s point of view.

Here is a Southern Flying Squirrel who is clearly a bit hyper, which is rather what you expect from an animal that spends its life running up trees and jumping off them. “Yes. I’m a bit jumpy” the squirrel admits. It also reminds us that owls hunt flying squirrels, so it is not altogether surprising that the squirrel is a bit “jittery.”

Here is a little Red-eyed Vireo chick who is not quite as capable as the flying squirrel was. In fact this funny looking little baby jumped out of its nest before its wings were quite ready to fly. “I flapped and flapped” the chick tells us, and then “my wings got all mixed up” and it fell to the ground. Thankfully, the chick’s mother is still feeding it and soon enough it will be able to fly without getting tangled up in its own feathers.

With spectacular photos that practically jump off the pages, and wonderfully creative message from the animals about their lives and habits, this is the kind of book that will captivate young readers. At the back of the book the author includes natural history notes about the animals, and there is a double page spread showing life-size silhouettes of  each of the twenty-one animals that are described.