The baby blue eyes of the panther* on the cover called me across the room. Before I knew what was happening I found myself with an impulse grab from the New Book shelf.
*Leopard, actually. The kitty is a black leopard, but I didn’t discover this till the very end, because there are no words in the book until you get to the last few pages. Except for the index, which helpfully identifies all the animals you didn’t recognize, Creature has no text at all.
With no words to interfere, you as the reader get to devote all your energy to looking at the pictures. Within each picture you get to devote all your energy to looking at the animal, only the animal, and nothing but the animal: there’s no clutter to distract the eye, just a stark white background to throw the critter into focus. It’s marvelous.
Sixty-three animals are featured in 150 photographs. My very favorite is the wild boar, who looks– I don’t know how else to describe this– who looks sassy. I’m also fond of the spotted hyena, who appears thoughtful and inquisitive despite the way her tongue sticks out. Zuckerman’s photos made me fall in love with all the animals in the book.*
*Except for the millipede. And the emperor scorpion.
Some of creatures are in cute poses, but the point isn’t to look at pictures of adorable animals. Instead we get to look at a lot of different animals in a lot of different emotional states. (The alligator is smiling. That’s a good sign, right?) Mature readers will want to luxuriate over each gorgeous photo. Immature readers will want to race through the pages to get maximum animal sensory overload.*
*Yes, that’s exactly what I did, thanks for asking.
Check the WRL catalog for Creature