Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Looking Closely in the Rain Forest

Looking Closely in the Rain Forest

Frank Serafini
Nonfiction Picture Book
Kids Can Press, Ltd., 2010   ISBN: 978-1553375432

Let’s imagine that we are going to leave the comfort of our home for a little while, flying through the air to a distant place where great trees grow, a place where thousands of plant and animal species live. We are in the rainforest.

   We are looking through a little hole at something that is a golden color. What is it? It looks a bit like a sand dune, or perhaps the soft catkin of a pussy willow. When we turn the page we are no longer looking through that hole. Instead, we can see that what looked like a sand dune is actually the fur of a squirrel monkey, a little monkey species that lives in large groups in rainforests. Instead of using their tail as a fifth limb, these small animals use their tails to balance as they walk along tree branches.

   Now we are looking through a hole at something else. There is a red background with what look like feathers that are pink. Can this be part of a flamingo? Is one of these exotic birds going to be revealed when we turn the page? No, the mystery red and pink object is not an animal at all. In fact it is a flower, a red hibiscus. These flowers “open their petals wide” when the sun comes up in the morning.

   As they go from page to page readers can journey through a rain forest looking at a wide variety of plants and animals. Some of the things that are revealed will be familiar, while others will be new to the reader. Throughout the book gorgeous full-color photographs are paired with well written sections of text to provide readers with an appreciation for the diversity of living things that can be found in rainforests.