By Gillian Watts
Photography by Philippe Martin
Just look at the book’s cover photo! Children (and adults!) interested in nature and strange-looking creatures will be fascinated by the bright colors of the creatures in the 64-page book, Creatures Up Close. While the first few pages are filled with descriptions of the technique Philippe Martin used to take such captivating close-ups, the remainder of the book is filled with photos of exotic creatures from Madagascar.
See a Madagascar hedgehog, a lemur, and a dormouse; or close-ups of bright insects such as a Rainbow Bush Locust, a Praying Mantis, and a European Rhinoceros Beetle; or the vibrant colors of spiders, crabs, frogs, and snakes native to Madagascar. (Actually, none of them are creatures most of us would probably care to touch, but the photos of them are beautiful.)
While some of the creatures featured take up a two-page spread, the majority of pages contain only one close-up photo and a brief description of the insect, reptile, or animal. The colors are breathtaking and the close-up photography really lets the reader see many aspects of the subject that was photographed.
Creatures Close Upwould be at home on the coffee table as a conversation piece, but it would also be a huge hit in the classroom. The photos might be inspirations for art projects and science study. Children might compare and contrast the creatures, list various attributes, or be inspired to embark on an outdoor nature study of their own.
Reviewed by: Joyce Johanson