Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Looking Closely inside the garden

Looking Closely inside the garden

Frank Serafini
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Kids Can Press, Ltd., 2008   ISBN: 978-1554532100

There are times when we humans are in such a rush to be somewhere that we forget to pay attention to the wonders of nature around us. In this very special picture book, Frank Serafini looks at beautiful plants and animals in a new way. He focuses down on the small wonders that we can see in an average garden.

Serafini begins by giving as a piece of a photo that shows us something that is yellow and black. What are we looking at? Perhaps it is a stained-glass window or a jigsaw puzzle. Turn the page and you will find that the mystery picture was part of a Monarch butterfly's wing. Serafini not only shows us the whole monarch butterfly, but he also tells us a bit about this very special insect.

Later on, we "Look very closely" at something red that has little green and brown bumps on it. What is this a close-up view of? Is it a tongue or a sponge? Turn the page and we find that we were looking at the skin of a ripe and luscious looking strawberry.

With extraordinarily beautiful photographs and interesting fact-filled pieces of text, Frank Serafini helps his readers to see that focusing on the small wonders in our world can be very rewarding. His hope is that his "new way of seeing" will show his readers how beautiful, and how precious, our natural world is.