Super Small: Miniature Marvels of the Natural World

Greystone. Apr. 2023. 36p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771646567.
K-Gr 3–A super cute, illuminating graphic nonfiction concoction for young readers, with bubbly verse by Stone and light-hearted illustrations by “Binky the Space Cat” creator Spires. Each animal herein is assigned an introductory poem focusing on a character trait like strength, voracious hunger, or glamorous beauty. In the margins, each animal is also afforded a paneled comic of bite-sized fun facts. Some stand-out stars include the immortal jellyfish, the gearlegged high jumping plant hopper, and the tardigrade, which can survive in outer space. A panoply of aquatic animals, birds, and reptiles join their ranks. Some poems are rhymed and metered, others more impressionistic, but all are crafted to be read aloud and most rely heavily on a youthful sense of humor. The illustrations have an instant glossy appeal: all round-edged and smoo th pastels, with bobbly cartoon eyes on insects and felines alike. The book wraps up with the message that small kids can be super-special too, a framing device that may please or puzzle readers depending on their level of devotion to animal facts as an end in themselves.
VERDICT A brief catalogue of minor masterpieces of nature, eager to prove its worth with sugary-sweet illustrations and giggle-grabbing verse, this is a gentle introduction, rather than a comprehensive compilation, of the strengths of tremendous tiny creatures.

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