cover image Making Tracks

Making Tracks

Stephen Savage. Dutton Books, $10 (10pp) ISBN 978-0-525-67353-8

Nine animals from five habitats are introduced to youngsters through the use of concealed slides that reveal both the creatures and their tracks. For every animal, Savage first presents a black footprint and an accompanying clue; the opening spread, for example--a rain forest--features an animal that ``uses sharp claws to hunt and climb trees. Hiding quietly in the branches, it surprises its prey.'' The slide fills in the cut-out footprints and the animal that made them: a jaguar. In succeeding spreads a raccoon, pheasant, jackrabbit, rattlesnake, seal, polar bear, dog and human child are shown in environments ranging from winter woods to a desert, the arctic and a beach. While the book's promising concept and title initially are enticing, neither the rudimentary, uninspired art nor the overall execution excites enough to bring readers back for repeat encounters. Ages 5-8. (Jan.)