if you can. . .
for if you
I’ll be here
tomorrow . . .
Animals and insects use camouflage to hide from hunters or to ambush prey. Stealth is a very useful technique when it comes to survival. In this fun and informative collection of poems, we meet animals such as the polar bear and the octopus; the ghost crab and the copperhead snake; and many more that use camouflage to hunt or to hide.
Giles Laroche’s intricate cut-paper illustrations are beautiful and life-like. Readers will have to look carefully or run the risk of a hunter sneaking up on them.
Back matter offers additional information about each of the nineteen animals.
Harrison (Pirates) looks at the ways animals use camouflage to their advantage in poems divided into five sections (sea life, mammals, insects, birds, etc.). An underlying menace present in many of the poems ("Pupils widen,/ muscles ready,/ crouches lower,/ patient, steady," reads one about a Bengal tiger) underscores just how useful camouflage can be for predators lying in wait; Harrison's reliance on conventional rhymes can lend a singsong quality to some of the entries, however ("Sun settles,/ shadows creep,/ a piping voice begins to peep"). Laroche's (If You Lived Here) layered paper collages create impressive depth, texture, and detail, though the scenes can also feel somewhat static at times. A useful closing section offers additional details about the 19 animals covered, which include ghost crabs, copperheads, polar bears, and hawks. Ages 5 9.