cover image A Year of Beasts

A Year of Beasts

Ashley Wolff. Dutton Books, $11.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44240-0

As with A Year of Birds, Wolff uses block prints to link the cycle of nature to the cycle of Ellie's family. In the artist's last work, Ellie's baby brother was born; in the new book, Ellie and Peter share the discovery of the many animals around their house. Each month brings a different animal, different weather and a new activity for Ellie and Peterdeer and snowmen in January, chipmunks and picnics in July. Although the moods of each month are not as breathtaking here as in the first book, they are simpler, more direct. The pictures are bolder, the animals easier to see and identify. While perhaps not as visually stunning as A Year of Birds, this is more likely to be enjoyed by its intended audience. (36)