Find Out About Animal Camouflage

Candlewick. (Find Out About: Bk. 4). Oct. 2023. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536228366.
PreS-Gr 1–The fourth book from Jenkins and McGuinness in their “Find Out About” nonfiction series introduces young children to animal camouflage and mimicry. With straightforward text (and a few playful asides to show that these normally quiet creatures have surprises), Jenkins defines camouflage as “[h]iding by blending,” making the distinction that some animals hide because they are prey while others hide because they are predators. Creatures can take on the look of leaves, twigs, flowers, or tree stumps in a variety of different habitats, including the desert, ocean, and the snow—and some brightly colored poisonous or foul-tasting animals don’t hide at all. The end notes introduce the concept of mimicry, a defensive mechanism of harmless species that look like harmful ones, and includes an index for the 24 different creatures featured throughout, from buff-tipped moths to ptarmigans. The narrative text is in a slightly larger font than the animal facts, allowing young readers to follow the main story or dive into more details, depending on their interest and reading level. The mixed-media illustrations never make the camouflaged creatures too difficult to spot nor do they present the animals in an overly threatening way. Rather, McGuinness’s approachable illustrations will invite and encourage curiosity.
VERDICT A wonderful introduction to a natural phenomenon that fascinates adults and children alike.

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