Daylight Starlight Wildlife

Wendell Minor. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-24662-3
Minor (How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow?) follows 20+ woodland creatures by day and by night in this measured volume. The animals—which include foxes, toads, and squirrels—inhabit grassy expanses and forested areas, and human-built environments are seldom in sight: a "wide-eyed barn owl silently swoops through the sky" near a house's peaked roof, and wild turkeys trot past a picket fence. Minor works in gouache and watercolor, with tiny brushstrokes and daubs characterizing his controlled paintings. While he devotes a full spread to a red-tailed hawk against a sun-drenched sky, he divides most of his spreads to show diurnal creatures and their nocturnal counterparts. "Chubby mother woodchuck and her cubs waddle out to munch in a meadow," and under a sprinkling of stars, "Fearless mother skunk leads her litter through the field." Minor's bucolic imagery suggests abundant space for humans and wildlife alike ("While you're resting, are raccoons racing by under the cover of night?"), and even if this green world is not an everyday reality for all readers, Minor's gentle scenes will draw them in. Ages 3–5. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/16/2015
Release date: 05/19/2015
Genre: Children's
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