Song of the Wild: A First Book of Animals (Hardcover)
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Renowned picture book creators Nicola Davies and Petr Horácek team up for a captivating first look at animals around the world.
Polar bears playing on the ice, tigers hunting in the jungle, and nightingales singing in the heart of the woods — animals are everywhere. In a remarkable collection of poems, children’s author Nicola Davies shares keen observations on wildlife around the world. Sometimes lyrical and sometimes humorous, the poems reveal fascinating facts about animals of every color, shape, size, and origin, from giant blue whales to bats as tiny as bumblebees. Lively, colorful illustrations by Petr Horácek reveal the vast beauty and variety of the animal world in this essential introduction, perfect for even the youngest amateur zoologists.
About the Author
Nicola Davies trained as a zoologist and has written many award-winning books for children, including Bat Loves the Night, Tiny Creatures, The Promise, and I (Don’t) Like Snakes. She lives in Wales.
Petr Horácek was born in Czechoslovakia and trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague before becoming a graphic designer, illustrator, and painter. He has created numerous books for children, including Strawberries Are Red, The Fly, and Blue Penguin. He lives in England.
Jellyfish, flamingoes, butterflies; pandas, zebras, vipers. This beautifully illustrated oversize compendium will be a treat for anyone who likes to look at and think about the staggering variety of animals on this planet. Davies (‘King of the Sky’) has a degree in zoology and a clear passion for animal life.
—The New York Times Book Review
Paintings, poetry, and lyrical prose celebrate animals of all sorts...Horácek uses a variety of materials including wax crayon, acrylic and watercolor paints, and cutouts. The vibrant color and texture may remind some of the work of Brian Wildsmith. Each section ends with a spread of fast facts: characteristics of different animal groups; spots and stripes; parasites; eggs; and animals using tools. A treasure for readers of any age who delight in the natural world.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Davies and Horacek offer a striking poetic and visual tribute to the animal world.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The book’s generous size and heavy, glossy pages provide an excellent showcase for the mixed-media artwork. The very large, colorful illustrations are impressive, and Horáek uses the space well, offering striking images of many species...Kids intrigued by animals will enjoy the art while absorbing some information along the way.
At first glance, this oversize volume is extraordinarily eye-catching...Each lyric may lead kids to seek out more information, and teachers could use the book with older students to demonstrate how poetry can convey information.
—School Library Journal
Styles move from the delicate glory of a dizzying array of beetles to a pack of expressionistic wolves to a cloud of silky, skeiny, nearly abstract jellyfish. While elementary readers may enjoy poring over this title on their own, its most satisfying use will be a listener’s choice or section-at-a-time readaloud so viewers can gaze at the art uninterrupted while somebody else transmits the text.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The text by Nicola Davies is wonderfully variegated, sometimes rhyming and always fresh and interesting… Petr Horacek’s artwork is fabulous here: rich and vivid and full of touching, observant detail that draws the eye again and again.
—The Wall Street Journal
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