Author: David L. Harrison
Illustrator: Giles Laroche
Hardcover: 32 pages
Summary: Now You See Them, Now You Don’t: Poems About Creatures that Hide features 19 animals that use camouflage in order to hunt or to hide from those that would find them to be a tasty meal. The poems about the 19 predators and prey are divided into 5 groups: sea life, reptiles and amphibians, mammals, insects and spiders, and birds.
What Teacher-Librarian Me Thinks: Your eye will immediately be drawn to Laroche’s mixed media art (cut paper featured on painted backgrounds) which masterfully demonstrates how animals, such as the flounder, hide amongst their surroundings. The author often uses meter and rhyme to imitate the urgency of prey attempting to escape or the patience of a lurking predator. I particularly like the drawn out “s” of the poem titled Copperhead, “my sssskin/deceivessss,/helpssss me/dissssappear/”. While the poems themselves are very informative, the endnotes contain brief descriptions about each animal. The rhyme schemes make these poems enjoyable to read aloud and the book is best suited for those in kindergarten through grade 4.
What Mom Me Thinks: To be honest, I’m still traumatized by the many poetry explications I had to write in high school and tend to shy away from poetry books. Even I have to admit that I enjoyed this book. While many of the poems feature predators hunting prey, it does not depict anyone being devoured (the very reason I can’t bring myself to watch the BBC’s Planet Earth). I found the rhyme schemes pleasing and this was a quick bedtime read.
What Lil’ Man Thinks: He says this one is, “grrrreat!” He especially liked the illustrations of the walking stick and the octopus.
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