Curious Critters encourages curiousity October 19 2014, 0 Comments

Curious Critters by David FitzSimmons is an engaging collection of highly detailed photos of animals. The portraits are set on white backgrounds that show the features of the animal very well. They include a good range of animals, invertebrate and vertebrate, with fish, amphibians, and reptiles well-represented. The story for each organism has some truth to it, but it is mostly anthropomorphic. This isn’t the worse thing as it may help children see why the animal behaves as it does. There is a short paragraph on the natural history of each organism at the back of the book.

I can see several uses for this book, both in illustrating the relationships between animals and looking at their external features. The feet on the blue jay are a good illustration of the tie between birds and crocodilians. The monarch butterfly larva shows the walking feet of lepidopteran larvae very well. Children can examine the features of frogs, toads, salamanders, and crayfish closely, whether or not they have access to the real thing.

The original book was published in 2011, and Curious Critters, Volume Two came out earlier this year. These volumes can help children hone their powers of observation. Did you know that beetles can have tiny mites riding on them?