Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In an elegantly designed guess-the-animal outing, subjects introduce themselves using brief, descriptive clues: "I have a striped furry coat. I live in the jungle. I am the largest of all cats. I am a..." Readers first see an animal's back end, which Canty illustrates in loose watercolors set against white spreads. On the following page, the animal's head appears in more detailed renderings, adapted from 19th-century archival images. Additional subjects include a fish, tortoise, fox, frog, and kangaroo. An unexpected conclusion invites readers to be a featured animal, as well: "I love to play. I learn new things every day. I am growing. I am... Me!" Ages 2-5. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Canty's book is a guessing game that youngsters will enjoy taking part in as they display their knowledge of a variety of wildlife. The tail end of an animal is pictured on the recto, accompanied by a three-line, science-light description. When the page is turned, the animal's front half and identity are revealed. I am covered with slippery scales. I am long and thin. My bite can be poisonous. I am a . . ." A page turn reveals the answer: "SNAKE. Children will attempt to guess the names of the 14 animals, which range from fish to tortoise to rhinoceros, by recognizing the picture or listening to the three clues. The colorful illustrations were adapted from nineteenth-century artwork, painted in watercolor, and placed on a pale gray background. The back half of each animal is loosely illustrated, while the front end is detailed. A few critters are pictured but not named, which should elicit some discussion. This engaging title will work well in a storytime situation or for sharing with one child.--Maryann Owen Copyright 2018 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
In this minimalist Australian import, readers are encouraged to guess animals based on select written and visual clues.On each recto, readers see the hindquarters of an animal, and three simple clues ask them to guess what kind of animal they may belong to. "I have long furry ears and a small nose. / I live in a burrow in the ground. / I have a white fluffy tail. / I AM A." The splashy watercolor rear legs and tail are ambiguous enough that they may have readers second-guessing the obvious answer. Turning the page, however, readers discover both the well-defined front half of the animal and the animal's name: "RABBIT." Canty uses stock 19th-century animal illustrations layered with watercolor enhancements, creating a somber yet surprising tone. Two tailless animals, a frog and human readers, are included in the roster, making the "tails" referenced in the title symbolic rather than literal. Two red herrings, the image of a mouse between the clues for and image of an elephant and (inexplicably) a squirrel leading to a giraffe, fall flat, with no other cues to young readers that they are jokes. The quirky illustrations, earthy colors, and lack of exhibited enthusiasm will make this book's audience a niche one. There is no backmatter.A clever conceit but a bland execution. (Informational picture book. 2-5) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.