Play in the Wild: How Baby Animals Like to Have Fun

Roaring Brook. Jun. 2020. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250237064.
K-Gr 3–Animals love to play just like human children. Similarly, they often make an initial gesture to invite play, and when things get too rough, they apologize. While they may not have physical toys, they often fashion playthings from objects in nature, such as leaves, tree limbs, rocks, animal hide, and plants. Many games involve pouncing, swatting, biting, slapping, wrestling, and other play fighting. Not only is play fun, but it helps animals find food, build communities, and find mates. Twenty-seven species are highlighted. Appended are sources, a glossary, and additional information about each animal’s diet, habitat, and play habits. Spreads alternate between large, bold, one-sentence text and denser short paragraphs. The appealing watercolor illustrations portray cute, happy babies engaged in various kinds of play.
VERDICT This well-researched picture book is both engaging and informative—a treat for young animal lovers. A worthy purchase for most collections.

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