Review Blog

Jun 12 2014

Funny faces by Dr Mark Norman

cover image

Black Dog Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922179968
(Age: 6+) Warmly recommended. Animals. Non fiction. Fourteen double pages will attract the attentions of younger readers, as they smile, giggle and laugh their way through the range of faces presented by scientist Mark Norman. Introduced with a double page called Different Faces, the reader is given a brief taste of what is to come. Turning the page the biggest animal noses are shown, sure to cause a ripple of mirth. The funny noses of the bat and dolphin follow, then the large eyes of the glider and dragonfly. Each page has a little information, enough for younger readers to see what the animal is called, and perhaps learn a little about why they have such distinctive attributes. The information is enough to whet their appetites and impel them to go looking for more information or pester a teacher or parent to take them to the zoo. Big ears, beaks and bills follow, with a few more scary animals towards the end of the book. The pictures of the dragonfish and walrus will cause a hidden chuckle, while the next page shows a cicada and mosquito with needle mouths in close up.
A double page at the end of the book gives more serious information, while there is a brief glossary and short index. The photography is stunning, the close-ups of the animals shown are breathtaking in their clarity.
All is combined well to introduce, inform and entertain the younger reader.
Fran Knight

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