cover image Each Living Thing

Each Living Thing

Joanne Ryder. Harcourt Children's Books, $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-201898-6

As Wolff depicts a rainbow of children observing life in seven different idyllic habitats (ranging from a seashore to an impeccably manicured park), Ryder (Earthdance) serenades her audience on the importance of respecting nature. The rhyming text, both courtly and vivacious, plays on a double entendre of paying attention and caring for all earthly creatures: ""Look out for wriggling worms and creeping snails/ for darting bees who dip among the flowers,/ for streaming ants who streak the dusty trails--/ please step around their sandy towers."" The sensuality and detail here recall Wolff's work in titles such as Home Sweet Home. From the opening pages, which depict a flowering bush that doubles as home to a robin's nest and a raindrop-dappled spider's web, to the final illustration, a desert landscape awash in lush browns and blues, Wolff makes nature a celebration of ripe, radiant color. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)