I was book shopping the other day when I saw the spine of this book, which, in my case, is a library binding.
‘The Big Book of Wild Animals’.
And then I noticed the name on the side. Sutton
I wonder… said my mind.
Pulling the book out I discovered that it was indeed written by Felix Sutton of We Were There at Pearl Harbor and The Picture Book of Wyatt Earp fame. And by opening it, I also discovered that this is a really, really cool book.
The “wild” animals covered in this story are more what I would call “exotic” – and are all of the animals children find most interesting. Elephants, tigers, panda bears, lions, zebras, kangaroos, wolves, monkeys… they’re all there.
On the ‘Lion & Cape Buffalo’ page, we are told how lions try to gang up on buffalos to kill them. A picture is shown in which a buffalo is tossing a lion over his head while a lioness bares her fangs at him. There are a few claw marks on the buffalo’s hide. The scene could have been depicted with far more violence and intensity – as it is, children may gape.
The comment is made that “Baboons and monkeys are members of the “primate” family. This word means that, of all the wild animals, they are the nearest to man in upright posture and intelligence.” I don’t mind this especially, but the question is, “Nearest in what way?” Outward similarities? Biological descent?”
The illustrations are wonderful – lifelike, sober, and in full color.
Conclusion. This book is everything The Furry Alphabet Book should have been.
Review © 2015 Laura Verret