Renowned Canadian wildlife photo-grapher and author Wayne Lynch has produced another winning reference for middle-grade readers.
Wayne Lynch’s Canadian Rockies Wildlife for Kids is fabulous to look at. Lynch’s photos take up the majority of real estate on each page, and with good reason. A bighorn sheep gazes intently from the foreground of one image, the majestic mountains stretching infinitely into the cloud-streaked indigo sky behind it; a grey wolf stands out starkly against its snowy surroundings as it tracks a scent. Fuzzy baby animals grace almost every glossy, brightly hued page, upping the cuteness quotient considerably.
Lynch has penned dozens of articles and books about animals and ecology for adult and YA readers, and his familiarity with the subject matter is apparent in the ease with which information is delivered. Using a colloquial, conversational tone appropriate for the target age range, he imparts basic facts about a handful of animals falling into one of five categories of wildlife found in the Rockies – bears, hoofed mammals, wild cats and dogs, small mammals, and birds.
Each entry provides a glimpse into the animal’s life, with an emphasis on birth and early stages of development. “Fast Facts” boxes offer hits of information about habitat, diet, size, and “strange but true” trivia.
Lynch’s anecdotes and first-hand experiences add colour, though he is careful not to gloss over the realities of life in the wild; death and danger are acknowledged fully.
The book comes off as slightly unpolished, however. Typos and grammatical errors detract from its authority, but that is unlikely to matter to children drawn to the combination of striking visuals and accessible text.