Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Child Pick: Underground
by Denise Fleming
Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
Underground is a world often unseen by adults and children. Denise Fleming’s new book identifies the various animals that nest and hide food underground. Did you know that most rabbits do not dig their own holes? They often dig shallow holes or use other holes abandoned by woodchucks or chipmunks. Foxes, too, are known to use the woodchucks’ old digs to raise their young.
Other species that live at least part of their lives underground include the Trapdoor spider, salamanders, toads, and moles. The creature identification pages feature a picture of each creature and how they use their holes underground: for food storage, living quarters, and nurseries for their young.
The illustrations in the book are made using pulp painting which is a papermaking technique using cotton fiber that is then poured through hand-cut stencils. Finally, the artist adds details using pastel pencils and copy transfer. The effect is a beautifully rendered picture that feels and looks like a painting done in pastels, watercolors, and pencils. The attention to detail is remarkable; the animals are beautifully rendered, and the furry ones seem cute and cuddly even when digging in the dirt.
The cover of a wide-eyed boy watching ants disappear underground will captivate. What child hasn't wondered where the ants go?
The copy rhyme and rhythmic pattern is perfect for early readers. Children will quickly pick up the wording of this book and likely “read” it to themselves after only a few readings.
This is a must have for any collection of picture books.
Highly, highly recommended ages 3-up. A fun read aloud.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.
This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)