NORMAN, Dr Mark (text) Funny Families Black Dog Books, February 2015, $16.95(pbk), 32pp. ISBN 978 1 922179 97 5
Funny Families is the next volume in the series which began with Funny Bums in 2013. It has the same format with colour photographs of different animals on each page accompanied by a few lines of text in large typeface. Most of the photographs have been sourced from Shutterstock while the text is by Dr Mark Norman from Museum Victoria.
In this title, animal families of all different types are shown. Each double-page spread discusses two examples of a different aspect of animal family life. For example, on the “How many kids?” page, an animal which usually only bears one offspring at a time, the orangutan, is compared with a tuna, which can lay a million eggs at a time. On the “Out and About” page, two different species which transport their young on their backs are shown. The contents cover twelve varying topics.
The book begins with an introduction but unfortunately there is no conclusion to round off the subject. A Fact Files section at the back gives further information on nine of the animals mentioned but this is rather disappointing as there are over twenty different species included in the text. A short glossary and an index round off the contents.
There are also no captions on the photos. Although the identification of the animal concerned is usually obvious from the accompanying text, the raccoons shown opposite the introduction have no such description and are not included anywhere else in the book (unlike the penguins on the title page).
This book is a fun introduction to the diversity of animal families for young readers. It is attractive and well-produced and a great addition to any home or institutional library.
reviewed by Lynne Babbage