Martin and Chris Kratt: The Wild Life

Random. (Step into Reading: A Biography Reader). May 2022. 48p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593373170; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780593373163.
Gr 2-4–The Kratt brothers, two zoologists famous in children’s television programming, present an introduction to adventures in zoological studies that integrates illustrations and photography. The book begins with the brothers taking a look at their youthful interests and their university studies, then goes on to describe some of their experiences as explorers. All of this will be inspirational to young readers. Walz’s illustrations fully support the utter joy the brothers have in their work. For example, Walz captures the visible excitement and positive outlook of the brothers when they talk about filming rare and endangered great otters as their boat sinks. There in the Amazon jungle, the camera lifted above water, “We managed to save our video.” They recall the incident without any anger about their predicament. A host of lesser-known animal names are used without any explanation, other than Walz’s drawings: mustelids, tardigrades fossas, and tenrecs are most likely unfamiliar creatures to this age group. But the authors’ utter positivity, focus on goals, and enthusiasm for intellectual pursuits are a gold standard.
VERDICT A bold and exciting addition to the nonfiction collections.

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