Gordon Winch (text), Patrick Shirvington (illus.), Can You Find Me?, New Frontier Publishing, 1 Sept 2017, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781925059793
This beautiful picture book explores how Aussie animals use camouflage to hide and survive in the Australian bush. Mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and fish are all represented – some large, some small. Each double page spread focuses on a particular animal.
This book has everything you need to captivate children 3-6 at story time: repeating phrases, gorgeous watercolour illustrations of a range of Aussie animals in scenic spreads, and the fun of searching for each animal as it blends in with its habitat. To assist children unfamiliar with some of the animals, there’s a guide to each animal’s appearance at the back.
The text on each page follows a 5-line formula, and soon becomes like a familiar friend. The first three lines state what the animal is, its habitat, and how the animal resembles its habitat. The last two lines are always the same:
That is why I am hard to see.
Can you find me?
The repetition encourages new and reluctant readers, and reinforces the theme of animal camouflage.
I was captivated by this book from the moment I saw its beautiful cover. Even the end pages are striking, with branches of native plant species set against a white background.
Recommended for pre-schoolers, and as a junior science resource.
Reviewed by Julie Murphy