Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mad About Monkeys and Wild Animals of the North (Flying Eye Books)

When I think of children's books that are both educational and beautiful, the one publisher that always pops in my head first is Flying Eye Books. Today, I would like to tell you about two of their latest releases - Mad About Monkeys and Wild Animals of the North.

Mad About Monkeys is a 40 page chapter book that is heavily illustrated. The chapters are only two pages each, but it still qualifies as a chapter book. The book begins by talking about what monkeys are and evolution. The next chapter talks about the differences between Old World and New World monkeys. Other chapters talk about differences between large and small monkeys, their social life, and what monkeys are best at certain things, i.e., speed and intelligence. One of the closing chapters discusses monkey mythology, including their importance in the Hindu religion and Chinese zodiac. The final chapter discusses deforestation and the impact it is having on the monkeys of the world. Overall, I found this book to be very informative. It contained a nice mixture of useful knowledge and fun facts. However, the star of this book were the illustrations. Owen Davey does a remarkable job making the many different species of monkeys come alive on the pages. The only complaint I have about the book is the matter of fact statement that humans and monkeys evolved from a common ancestor. This is scientific speculation at best, as it has never been proven. For that reason, I deducted a star from my review. If you end up buying this book and liking it, be sure to check out Davey's next book Smart About Sharks.

Wild Animals of the North is an over-sized picture book that takes the reader through animals of the Northern Hemisphere. The book is divided into three sections for the three different continents - North America, Europe, and Asia. Most (but not all) of the animals are given a two page spread, which includes their name, Latin name, and a brief paragraph that tells information about where the animal lives, what it eats, and other interesting trivia about them. I was disappointed there wasn't this kind of information on the red panda, because it looked like a fascinating creature, but this just encourages the child and their parent to investigate some animals further. The pictures in this book are breathtaking and Dieter Brown is a true artist. If I may be so bold, I would compare this book to John James Audubon's Birds of America. Some might view this as blasphemy of sorts, but you have to see this book and make that judgment for yourselves. Now, I must patiently await the book Wild Animals of the South to complete this beautiful set of books.

These books were provided to me for free by Flying Eye Books in exchange for honest reviews. If you found these reviews helpful, please click here and/or here and hit Yes!