Critters Pop off the Page
By David FitzSimmons
Wild Iris Publishing, $19.95, 32 pages
If you could chat with animals, what would they say? In Curious Critters, author David FitzSimmons imagines what that conversation might sound like. Twenty-one everyday animals are featured in this beautiful book, but despite the creatures being common, there is nothing common about the images and text. In addition to writing, FitzSimmons spends his time taking photos. His creature gallery includes a bullfrog, blue jay, screech owl, soft shell turtle, opossum, goldfish, brown bat and a katydid. The photography is stunning. By photographing the animals against a white background, FitzSimmons makes them appear to pop off the page. The glossary in the back defines terms like migration, amphibian, nocturnal, hibernation, echolocation, camouflage and omnivore. The text is educational and fun at the same time. As the jumping spider talks to readers, he tells them about his eight eyes and how his muscles work to help him jump. The salamander sings a song and describes the process of turning from a swimming larva into a four-legged critter that can walk on land. This book would be a wonderful gift for any curious kid.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin