cover image Glow-In-Dark Animal Skeletons,

Glow-In-Dark Animal Skeletons,

Regina Kahney, Gina Singer. Random House Books for Young Readers, $14 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-679-81080-3

In this singular book, each of 15 creatures, from a human to a Masai ostrich, from a greater horseshoe bat to a house cat, is depicted in a few informative paragraphs and a dynamically composed illustration (the bald eagle hunts a fish; the giraffe bows its splendid neck to drink from a pool). Turn off the lights, however, and the real excitement begins: every illustration is imprinted with a nontoxic ink that glows in the dark to reveal the animals' skeletons. Simultaneously otherworldly and scientific, the after-dark artwork is an irresistible introduction to zoology. Only Santoro's less-than-striking, army-surplus-paint shades used in the book's cover art and a few spreads bring down an otherwise beguiling effort. A brief index with such intriguing entries as Z-shaped legs (kangaroo) and 'threat posture' (cobra) issues a second invitation to explore Kahney's fact-filled text. Kids will flip over this one. Ages 7-10. (Sept.)