Saturday, February 22, 2014

Children's Book Review: Curious Critters Volume Two by David FitzSimmons

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from the author, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it.

David's first children’s picture book, Curious Critters came out in 2011. When we reviewed it, Miss Grace was totally smitten and would NOT let it out of her hands for at least 2 weeks. Seriously!

So when he said he had a new book and would we check it out, there was no other answer than YES!!!!!!

Volume 1 has sold over 100,000 copies! Way to go David!

curious critters vol 2 cover


In Volume 2 of the award-winning Curious Critters series, photographer David FitzSimmons depicts a variety of animals common throughout North America. See stunning images of everyday animals, including a great-horned owl, American alligator, bluegill, striped skunk, gold-green sweat bee, cave salamander, sidewinder, and many other eye-catching creatures. Each Curious Critter is photographed against a white backdrop, showcasing the animals' colors, textures, shapes, and seeming "personalities." Each photo is accompanied with a short narrative, told from the critter's perspective, that educates and entertains. 

FitzSimmons’ unconventional approach to wildlife photography allows animals’ colors, textures, shapes, and seeming “personalities” to shine through. “Kids focus on the animals. That’s when the learning begins,” David explains. “They focus on and notice clues about animals’ behaviors, diets, life cycles, and habitats.” 

You can check out some sample pages HERE

miss grace and curious critters vol 2


I came home from work, and the mail was sitting on the table. As I opened the package with this book in it, I heard a scream of pure delight and the book was literally ripped from my hands an the kid fled at the speed of sound with it. Rather felt like a drive by, as I hadn't even had a chance to hug the kid! 

The kid was instantly entranced with all the birds in the book! This Indigo Bunting was tied with the American Cardinal for her favorite (she's partial to the cardinals that live in our yard!)CCV2 indigo bunting

As you can see, the pictures are just flat out amazing! So much so that when we came to one of the Two Eyed Elater bug, Miss Grace actually screamed and backed up, as it looked like it was coming off the page! The accompanying text is wonderful again- full of humor, facts and charming enough to keep kids interested and coming back again and again!

CCV2 owl example page

Miss Grace LOVED this book, as you can tell. She climbed into the swing with it and would NOT move until she had gone through the whole book and finished the silhouette game! THEN she let me actually look and read it to her! A few days later we were watching a show that mentioned armadillos, and she started spouting off all the facts from this book, about it! I was amazed at how much she had remembered!

miss grace and curious critter vol 2 book collage

These books of David's are more than just 'picture' books- they TEACH, in a way that kids relate to easily, and can remember. Miss Grace adores the set of books and they are in a place of honor on her bookshelf, where she can grab them and go back through whenever she likes.

David has even more fun available on his Curious Critters website like coloring pages, silhouette games and word searches, to extend the teaching capabilities of the books! Plus he has guides for teachers and parents, as well as a newsletter you can sign up for!

If you have kids, grand kids, or kids you know, GET this set of books for them! They make super birthday presents ,especially if you team them with say a bug catcher, binoculars. or explorer vest. 

David is branding the Curious Critters line even more with audio books and even a children's song! You can check out samples purchase/download them on his publisher's website! The Curious Critters song is adorable and sung by Foster Brown. It features banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and bass, in its bluegrass beat

Check out a sample verse:
Curious Critters all around, 
in forests to farms and in our town. 
With beaks, scales, wings, and paws, 
feathers, fur, teeth, and claws. 
Some hop and crawl or walk or swim, 
fly or glide or slither in. 
Curious Critters to be found. 
Come listen in. Come gather ‘round

And stay tuned this Fall for the next book installment:

curious critters marine cover

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