Wild and Free; Out There Somewhere, it's time to ...
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There are a lot of books on environmental issues but Wild and Free brings home the plight of endangered species like tigers and whales to the very young with inviting illustrations and a rhythmic text. Each double spread main text begins with 'Who could live in a world without...' and ends with 'wild and free'. Out There Somewhere, it's time to... adopts a most imaginative approach to time differences taking young readers on an exhilarating journey round the world to find where it is daytime and where the middle of the night.
Two kinds of print run through both these picture books - the main text which is large and bold, and smaller writing which gives facts in conventional information book style. In Wild and Free the second level of print is presented in asymmetrical information boxes. The complexity of the issues is often hinted at - 'Gorillas are protected, but they are poached for meat by poor forest people.' As we might expect from this author/illustrator partnership, the pictures complement the writing perfectly and will encourage lively discussion. In Wild and Free each creature is placed carefully in the right habitat. Out There Somewhere, it's time to ... creates wonderful contrasts wih the environments pictured which include New York, Moscow, Guilin (China) and Newcastle on Tyne. The picture of the earth, half dark and half lit up by the sun, will help greatly in developing children's understanding of how night and day come about. In each book simple but clear maps show young readers the conventions of this kind of representation, and 'Helpful Words' sections introduce the notion of a glossary.