Look At Me!: Wild Animal Show-Offs (Jim Arnosky)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Look At Me!: Wild Animal Show-Offs by Jim Arnosky, a colorful look at how animals of all kinds use color, sound, and other tricks to express, defend, and identify themselves.

The latest in his nature series for kids, Arnosky introduces readers to animals who like to “show off”. Dividing them into shared characteristics such as “Fanned Tails” (peacocks and turkeys) or “Noisemakers” (rattlesnakes, bullfrogs, beavers, etc.), the text touches on various ways that animals use auditory or visual displays to establish dominance, find mates, ward off predators, and so on. Beautiful, eye-catching art brings each creature to life in stunning detail.

This was definitely interesting. It’s the first of this series that I’ve looked at, and there were definitely some elements that stood out. First, the art is simply stunning – richly colored and exceptionally realistic pencil drawings and paintings were a huge treat for JJ. However, I would definitely say that this is not a book for very small bookworms – while the illustrations are exceptional, the first-person journal-style text is not particularly suited for younger readers. It does give the book a sense of paging through a naturalist’s field journal, which could be neat for older readers, but also left the information covered a bit too disjointed for JJ to follow. Also, while Arnosky’s hand-picked examples and first-hand observations are interesting, they limit the breadth of the material covered in what is a rather short book of this type. I would be interested to see how this volume fits among the set, rather than standing on its own. Still, this is a wonderfully personal look inside some incredible animal species and a noted expert’s take on them, and would absolutely interest older animal- and nature-loving kids. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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