review: Close to You
Close to You: How Animals Bond by Kimiko Kajikawa. Henry Holt, 2008 (978-0-8050-8123-7) $16.95
This companion to the enchanting book of animal photographs, Sweet Dreams, has a less spontaneous look than its predecessor, but is still exceptionally awww-inspiring. A tiny alligator grinning as it's gently held between its mother's teeth -- how can you resist that? A short and sweet rhyming text accompanies the tender photographs of mother-child animal pairs, as snow monkeys "stare at a friendly face" and prairie dogs "snuggle in a warm embrace." Notes at the end of the book expand on the bits of information contained in the text, explaining that the baby snow monkey and its mother spend hours staring at each others faces, and that two prairie dogs from the same clan always meet with a kiss. Sadly, they also reveal that many of the animals shown here are from endangered or threatened species.
The book might be better served by a different design: profuse bright colors and sharp, hard lines detract from the naturalism of the photographs. Still, its intrinsic appeal is very strong. A good resource for preschools and of course, Mother's Day. (2-6)
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A Year of Reading