Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

In my backyard

In my backyard

Valarie Giogas
Illustrator:  Katherine Zecca 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2007   ISBN: 978-0977742318

If you look into your backyard, and if you are very quiet and don't move around much, it is likely that you will see all kinds of animals, many of which will have babies with them. In this book the author shows her readers the kinds of animals that they might see hiding amongst the shrubs, playing on the lawn, or climbing in the trees.

The author begins by describing, in a gentle rhyming text, the little fawn that she sees. He sees her too "through the leaves and brush" and he quickly runs back to its mother.

Next we see a pair of prickly pups, a duo of porcupines who chew on anything made out of wood, including old garden tools.

These funny looking creatures are followed by three squirrel pups which trundle along a branch one after the other. Bleary eyed they look for a comfy place to sleep.

The author of this picture book educates and entertains her readers in several fronts. Her book is a counting book, a portrait of commonly seen backyard animals, and she also shows her readers what the different babies are called. For example baby squirrels, porcupines, moles, and foxes are called pups. Baby raccoons are called cubs, and baby skunks (which are very sweet looking even if they do smell a bit) are called kits.

At the back of the book the author also provides her readers with a counting activity which will not only help them practice their counting but which will teach them a good deal about the animals described in the book.

Finally there are two very useful sections which backyard naturalists will find very interesting and informative. One is about "Animal Signs All Around You" and the other is "What to Do If You Find an Injured Animal."