Review also includes:
Rivers & Lakes, ill. John Norris Wood and Kevin Dean, 978-1842481455
Woods & Forests, ill. Maggie Silver, 978-1842480403
This attractive series of glossy paperbacks invites you to play a game of hide and seek with creatures that live in a variety of different habitats. Five wordless, superbly detailed artwork spreads in each book provide panoramic scenes in which animals are camouflaged. Fold-out pages reveal yet more hiding places behind leaves, reeds or coral reefs. On the spreads that follow you discover the tally of animals you should have spotted – 60 or more in woodland scenes – with information and identifying illustrations for each species. It turns out to be much harder than you might expect, but close examination pays dividends in the end, especially when using the little magnifying glass attached to each book. We spotted most of the 84 octopus eggs, but three katydids and several small insects proved very elusive. A good way to learn to recognise animals and to hone observation skills, the quality of the artwork raises these books above the level of similar novelty titles.