Animals (Maud Poulain)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Animals, written by Maud Poulain, illustrated by Peggy Nille, and translated by Wendeline A. Hardenberg, part of The Pop-Up Guide series by Twirl Books.

Separated into biomes such as rain forest, backyard, desert, mountains, and so on, readers are introduced to dozens of animal species from all over the world. Pop-up scenes highlight commonly-known favorites like beavers, dolphins, and polar bears, as well as less-familiar critters like ptarmigans, horned desert vipers, and little auks. Brief paragraphs describe each scene and labels identify most of the species.

Pretty but incomplete. Nille’s cartoon illustrations of each nature scene and wildlife species are filled with color and charm, and the pop-up elements are well-designed to create a feeling of dimension that is sure to engage young animal lovers. From there, however, the text adds very little. The paragraphs don’t do more than describe a few elements of the artwork, and labels are inconsistent – sometimes plants are identified, sometimes they’re not; one offers a factoid about sled dogs in “The Far North,” yet this format isn’t replicated anywhere else in the book. Several scenes depict animals that do not share habitats (such as tigers and scarlet macaws), yet the text simply identifies the scene as a rain forest, and no information is provided on where rainforests can be found, what makes the animals suited to each environment, etc. So while this title would likely be enjoyed by young readers for its pictures, those hoping to learn more about animals will bore quickly. Length is variable, but I will say that JJ has enjoyed making up stories about the pop up scenes. Overall, this could be a fun title for little ones, but reserve expectations. Baby Bookworm approved!

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