Animals galore in these great picture books

Enjoy these fascinating  books with your children, everyone will learn amazing facts about wild animals and enjoy the beautiful illustrations too.

Syndetics book coverStripes of all types / written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale.
“Stockdale pairs precise acrylic illustrations with equally tidy verse to depict 19 striped animals. “Stripes found in water,/ sliding through weeds./ Drinking from rivers,/ and darting through reeds,” she writes, as the accompanying images show purple-striped jellyfish, an eastern garter snake, ring-tailed lemurs, and an American bittern. Elsewhere, a horizontally striped surgeonfish is seen “scouting a reef” amid speckled coral, and a poison frog in shocking orange, yellow, and red stripes is “propped on a log.” Closer to home, two children cuddle with striped cats. Appended pages discuss the ways stripes benefit each creature and also provide a guessing game for readers to match stripes with their respective animals.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverI wish I had– / written by Giovanna Zoboli ; illustrated by Simona Mulazzani ; [translation services provided by Translations Unlimited].
“Books inviting children to imagine themselves as animals are ubiquitous and a playful way to encourage imagination, but most don’t have the scope of this beautiful Italian import. There is a dignified eloquence at work here, and the narrator’s wishes are not merely the desire of a child to be like an animal, but a longing for a tangible connection to an often intangible universe. Zoboli offers some rather everyday wishes, such as to become the wings of a wild goose or the tail of a lemur who hasn’t wished to fly through the air or swing through trees? But longing for the happy hunger of a bear in the orchard or the contentment of a dog in winter when the snow falls outside transcends daydreaming to feel quite spiritual. The painterly illustrations in this oversize picture book (the works of Henri Rousseau come to mind) have a grandeur about them that matches the majestic ideas expressed throughout. Repeated motifs within the pictures some of the animals are clutching a flower in their mouths, and the larger animals appear to be tattooed with images of other animals, plants, and flowers create a sense of universality. This is a book of big ideas, sparingly told, and full of wonder.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverOcean counting / by Janet Lawler ; photography by Brian Skerry.
“Presents young readers with a foundation for learning basic counting skills while discovering some magnificent ocean animals. Fact boxes in the back of the book include information about the animals’ homes, sizes, diets, predators, and babies”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWildlife / Paul Thurlby.
“On the heels of Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet (2011) comes this bright, bold compendium of personality-filled animals. On each page, a large print of each creature, rendered in an illustrative style that echoes the uncluttered, bright posters of the mid-twentieth century, pairs with memorable facts presented in spare, simple text. From the flamingo’s ability to drink while upside down to the effect that chewing has on the crocodile’s tear ducts, these zoology nuggets are unusual, specific, and accessible to young audiences, all while offering surprises to those reading aloud to them. Many of the pages also include a slogan or other very brief phrase within the illustration itself, such as the kangaroo in a judo pose juxtaposed beside the printed call to Kick up your heels. The spare, high-contrast graphic style of this picture book makes it an excellent candidate for small-group sharing, and the curious bits of information will bring many young naturalists and budding artists back to the pages again and again.” (Booklist)