From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4–This eye-catching picture book transports readers to a tropical rain forest. Smoothly incorporating a great deal of information, the text follows creatures such as a sloth, capuchin monkeys, and a poison-dart frog as they move through their habitat. Guiberson conveys the relationships among different animals by describing their activities at various times of day. Small dramas such as a squabble over nest space reveal the continual change and movement in this environment. Effective use of onomatopoeia further enhances the narrative with forest sounds. Jenkins uses his signature collage style to bring this realm alive for viewers. Although his humans seem a bit stiff, they are minor figures in the overall portrayal of the lush, green world. Even collections with several volumes about rain forests will want this introduction.–Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
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*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. "Splitter, splat, splash!" As a rainstorm "thrums" through the treetops, a tropical forest comes alive. Vibrant words and sensory impressions bring the creatures' noisy cacophony and slithering, swooping motions up close, while gracefully incorporated facts convey a surprising amount of information about basic survival. Each spread describes rain forest animals, from tiny scissor-jawed ants to white-tailed deer as they search for food, fend off enemies, and protect their young. Guiberson doesn't shy away from the realities of predators and death: an eagle carries off a cute capuchin monkey in her talons--dinner for her hungry chicks. But the author balances the heavier facts with lighter ones. The proportions of the animals in Jenkins' paper-cut collages may occasionally confuse children: on one spread, a mouse and sloth appear to be the same size. But the artist's colorful, textured images create a rich sense of atmosphere, and the precise details and lively compositions will easily draw children back to the text. Final spreads of a scientist, suspended in the forest canopy as she studies medicinal plants, reinforce how humans, too, are part of life in the wild forest. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved