Scary Animals

Jean de Sart, Author, Jean-Marie Winants, Illustrator, Jean De Sart, Author Charlesbridge Publishing $14.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-88106-674-6
Striking close-up portraits adorn the covers of these Curious Creatures books, an early omen of the distinctive, realistic artwork found throughout the quartet. Each volume profiles nine creatures. Two pages at each book's beginning discuss its overarching theme: e.g., the introduction to Scary Animals is headed ``The Reasons for Our Fears'' and Birds of the Night starts off with ``The Amazing Life of an Owl.'' Well-organized design gives the series a pleasing visual consistency: a page devoted to an introduction to the wildlife in question faces a full-page illustration of each creature in its native habitat. The following double-page spread is divided into columns of information, organized under such topics as Location, Reproduction, Food and Threats, accompanied by numerous drawings. Although the authors' informal, anecdotal approach to natural history is usually successful, the sheer quantity of information imparted makes for some awkward, contrived moments of storytelling (a mother spotting a short-eared owl remarks to her daughter, ``Like some other nocturnal birds, this owl occasionally is active during the day''). Ages 9-12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Library Binding - 48 pages - 978-0-88106-694-4
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