Rating: 1-5: (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? The creatures photographed by Martin vary from cute (dormouse ) to spectacular( tree boa, gecko) to nightmarish (orb weaving spider, wolf spider). Each display is strikingly clear because Martin, a photographer for over 40 years, developed a new technique he calls hyper focus. It consists of extreme close up photography using dozens of photos that are combined to produce one astoundingly vivid image. The strength of the offering is the images, so photos take center stage in full page or double page spreads with only small text boxes of information. Most of the insects and animals were filmed in Madagascar. Browsers will be wowed by the pictures, but will need to seek out additional sources if they are writing reports.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I can never un-see the hyperclear full-page shots of spiders.
To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend to patrons from grade 4 – 7 who would enjoy browsing books about nature.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries, middle school libraries, and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Shelve in 590 with other books about diverse animals.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you enjoy seeing and learning about unusual creatures found in nature.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 12/23/16