Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Wild Babies: Photographs of Baby Animals from Giraffes to Hummingbirds

Wild Babies: Photographs of Baby Animals from Giraffes to Hummingbirds

Traer Scott
Nonfiction photography book
For ages 7 and up
Chronicle Books, 2016   ISBN: 978-1452134864

Traer Scott’s journey to create this book began when she helped save a baby squirrel that had fallen out of its nest. Traer was able to find a wildlife rehabilitator to take in the squirrel and was so fascinated by the work that the woman did that she went on to meet many other people who do their best to save wild baby animals. These rehabilitators and wild animal experts always hope that the babies they care for will, one day, be able to return to the wild where they belong.

After looking at photos of just a few of the babies in this book, it becomes obvious that the same nurturing feelings we humans have for babies of our species are present, to a lesser degree of course, when we see baby seals, ducks, skunks and even bats. Somehow, even the babies that we consider ‘ugly’ are somehow cute, and we want to protect them from the dangers that are ever present in our world.

Some of the babies that readers meet in this book will look familiar, like the raccoon, the deer, and the starling chick. There are also a few animals on the pages, like the coati and the green heron chicks, that readers might never have seen before. Thankfully, in addition to her spectacular photos of the animals, the author gives us a short paragraph of information about every species that appears in the book.

Thus we find out that a coati is a member of the raccoon family and they are found in Central and South America. We also learn that green herons are one of the few bird species that use tools to get food. They make their own fishing lures out of twigs, feathers and other objects that they find, dipping their creations in the water to bring fish to them.

This marvelous books brings us all kinds of baby animals to coo and aww over, but it also gives us portraits of animals that are part of our natural heritage, animals that we should protect to the best of our ability, even after they are grown up and perhaps less ‘cute.’ We need to appreciate and value every single one of them.