Friday, April 1, 2016

Now You See Them ... Now You Don't

Now You See Them, Now You Don't
by David L. Harrison; illus. by Giles Laroche
32 pages; ages 5-9
Charlesbridge, 2016

topic: nature, camouflage, poetry

List of words
ghost crabs know: 
danger, freeze,
blend, slow,
look, run,
stop, go.

This is not just a book about creatures that hide; it's a book of poetry. And that makes it perfect for this month, because April is National Poetry Month.

Flip through the pages and you meet ghost crabs, mice, walking sticks, crab spiders, birds, and more. Some hide by blending in with their background, others find hiding places.

What I like about this book: the cut-paper illustrations that are intricately detailed. Suckers on the octopus's tentacles, flower and leaf details on plants, scale texture on the snake... and the layers that can be achieved with papers. I also like the back matter: five pages of more info about the animals featured in the poems.

Beyond the book: Do you have hidden creatures in your neighborhood? If so, you'd have to look very closely to see them.

Hidden Animal Field Trip: Take a hike through your neighborhood or a park. Look at tree trunks, inside flowers, on twigs and stems. Do you see insects and spiders that blend in with their environment? You might find moths that look like dead leaves, or spiders the color of the flowers in which they're hiding. You might find gray squirrels clinging to a tree trunk, motionless. What do you see?

Write a poem about hiding. Learn something about an animal that hides from predators. Then write a poem about what it's like to be that animal in hiding.

How good are you at hiding? Head out with some friends and play a hiding game. Can you blend into the bark and greenery of plants? Can you hide just by remaining motionless?   

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy from publisher.


  1. Boy, the first thing I see is that camouflaged snake! What a great concept for a book. Such a beautiful way to talk about the natural world than through poetry and powerful artwork.

  2. Sue, I'm delighted that you like our new book. I loved writing the poems and join you in applauding the wonderful creations of artist Giles Laroche. All the best, David

    1. Thanks for dropping by. The art and poems complement each other, for sure.

  3. It took me a while to see the snake! Cool!

  4. Unfortunately, this book is too new to be in my library. I will be on the look out for it though. It looks like a great educational book.

  5. Oh, how I love April Poetry month! This book looks awesome! And that cover is quite stunning.