cover image Curious Critters Volume Two

Curious Critters Volume Two

David FitzSimmons. Wild Iris (Midpoint Trade, dist.), $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-936607-70-9

FitzSimmons’s companion to 2011’s Curious Critters features dramatic, close-up photographs of 20 animals that range from recognizable (monarch butterfly, gray squirrel) to unfamiliar (gold-green sweat bee). Each subject describes itself in language varying from earnest to playfully boastful: “My name is eyed elater./ No beetle’s jump is greater./ Click. Click. Click,” says one insect with hip-hop swagger. Elsewhere, a cardinal describes domestic tranquility (“We built another nest, and now the apple of my eye is incubating our second clutch of eggs”). FitzSimmons’s intimate photos and mix of science and fun should especially appeal to kids who would rather have a pet tarantula than gerbil. Ages 2–8. (Feb.)