These children's books offer new perspective—April 18, 2014
Whether you are shown a small part of a larger object or a close-up view of something very small, photographs in books can give you a new perspective on the world around you.
Each of the books in Frank Serafini’s “Looking Closely” series shows a part of a larger picture and asks you to guess what you’re looking at. When you turn the page, the entire photograph is revealed and you are given information about the animal or plant shown. Serafini is an educator and nature photographer and his color photographs illustrate life in the forest, pond, garden, desert, shore and rain forest.
The “Look Once, Look Again” series by David M. Schwartz follows a similar format. He shows a close-up (“look once”) with a clue to what you are seeing, and when you turn the page (“look again”) you see the complete picture with more information. The titles in this series are “In the Forest,” “In the Meadow,” “In the Desert,” “At the Farm,” and “At the Zoo.”
“Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws” by Ingo Arndt shows a close-up look at an animal’s foot and asks you to guess what it is. When you turn the page, you’ll see if you were correct. You’ll learn that feet are not only for walking--some feet are made for climbing, others for digging, swimming, leaping or grasping. Another nature book with good close-up photos is “Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator” by Sarah C. Campbell. The wolfsnail is faster than an ordinary snail, and it is also a meat eater that hunts other snails.
There are quite a few books on insects that give you a close-up look at these small creatures. Look for “Bug Faces” by Darlyne A. Murawski, “Bugs Up Close” by Diane Swanson, or “Maggots, Grubs, and More: The Secret Lives of Young Insects” by Melissa Stewart. J. Patrick Lewis, the U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate from 2011-2013, has created a collection of poems called “Face Bug” that is illustrated with humorous drawings and close-up photographs of bugs’ faces.
For a really close-up look, try “Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope” by Stephen Kramer. The photographs in this book include butterfly wing scales, grains of pollen, red blood cells, and green algae.
I also have to mention “Underwater Dogs” by Seth Casteel, a new book in the children’s collection. Casteel’s unusual photographs give us a look at dogs chasing their favorite toys under water.
These pictures will make you smile! Look for these and other books in the children’s department and see the world around you in a different way.