Who’s Looking?: How Animals See the World

Orca. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781459826762.
PreS-Gr 2–We see the animals around us, but what does the world look like to them? In this delightfully original nonfiction picture book, a young girl and her baby sister wander through woods, fields, and a shoreline, while a variety of creatures look on: birds, insects, whales, rabbits, and even wolves. Simple scientific explanations and colorful illustrations show readers how each animal may perceive the world. Matas explains that some are color-blind and see only in shades of gray. Others have panoramic 360 degree vision. Eagles have the best sight of any creature and can spot a mouse from great distances, while mice are nearly blind but have a useful special cell that can sense movement. Rabbits can see behind their backs, while beavers, having very poor vision, have gogglelike membranes to help them see underwater. The lovely illustrations make use of borders, perspective, and other effects to offer a sense of the difference between what the creature sees and how a human would see it; it’s not photorealistic or literal, but gives children an opportunity to process and ponder the information. In the meantime, the sisters are a remote focal point, and as the seasons pass, the baby grows to a toddler. These two comprise an illustrative reference point and are not part of the text, except in two early lines that explain a baby’s early vision and how human vision works with glasses. The scenes clearly show the affection the sisters have for each other. The readable text offers understandable science, while the engaging illustrations promote careful investigation.
VERDICT A valuable addition to science and nature collections. Highly recommended.

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