What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You?
Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-82514-3
In this absorbing tribute to nature's genius, cut-paper collages illustrate the built-in defenses of animals and insects. Using collage to represent a diverse range of critters from the leathery lizard to the airy silkmoth, Jenkins (Big and Little) artfully matches handmade papers to fur, feathers, scales and skin. The artistic diversity is surpassed only by the animals' modes of escape--such as camouflage (a harmless hoverfly takes on a wasp's appearance), surprise (a skink flashes its bright blue tongue and wags it side to side), chemical warfare (a bombardier beetle shoots poison out of its rear end) and even levitation (a basilisk lizard runs on water). Although the forthright text lacks the dexterity of the collages, the high interest of the subject matter is sure to delight readers--and may prompt them to discover more about the intelligence, humor, eccentricity and stamina to be found in nature. This is the kind of book that awakens the scientist in young readers. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/27/1997