West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet

Deborah Hodge, illus. by Karen Reczuch. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $18.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-55498-440-4
This alphabet book from Hodge (Rescuing the Children) and Reczuch (Loon) essentially does double duty as an advertisement for the natural glories of the Pacific Northwest—it’s the rare reader who won’t want to travel there after they reach Z (which stands for the intertidal zone, “where land and sea meet”). Hodge’s forthright narration offers details about familiar creatures like bears, cougars, and orca, but she sneaks in some surprises, too—how many readers will be familiar with Velella velella, which float atop the waves “like little blue sailboats”? But in many ways, it’s Reczuch’s watercolor-and-pencil images that make the book—from lowly tangles of kelp sprawled across the beach to soaring rainforest trees, her precisely drafted illustrations find majesty and beauty in the creatures, vegetation, and landscapes that make the Pacific Northwest so distinctive. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/07/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Children's
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