Big and Small, God Made Them All

Ben Wilder, illus. by Laura Watson. Driftwood Tree, $14.95 paper (34p) ISBN 978-0-9909865-7-7
First-time author Wilder offers a rhymed sampling of some of the animals and natural wonders that make up God’s creation, “from buzzing bees to roaring seas.” The barely-there, catalogue-style text leaves the door wide open for Watson (So Many Babies) in terms of visual narrative. Working in a sunny pastel palette, she creates a cheerful landscape full of smiling, bug-eyed creatures—even a dozen or so peas nestled in their pods smile out at readers. Most of the pairings are fairly random (“He made the whale/ and the snail/ Pinky toes/ and hippos,/ Icebergs/ and hummingbirds”), but Watson occasionally combines the entries in lightly playful ways. There’s a hint of mischief in the eye of a raccoon sitting on the roof of a house (“The moon/ and the raccoon”), and as a girl stares at an impressive rainbow, the mosquito on her arm looks more interested in its next meal. Thick brushstrokes evoking wood grain add another cozy element to the images as the story builds to its expectedly reader-focused conclusion: “But best of all,/ He made you!” Ages 1–5. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 02/29/2016
Release date: 01/01/2016
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