Looking Closely in the Rain Forest

ImageSerafini, Frank.
Kids Can Press 2010
Approx. 40 pgs, $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-55337-543-2
Age: 3-7

Part of the Looking Closely series for readers aged three to seven, Frank Serafini’s Looking Closely in the Rain Forest is a visually stunning book, the use of close-up photography in which defamiliarizes features of the landscape in order to reinvigorate children’s observation of the natural world. Serafini precedes large photographs—which are accompanied by a three to four sentence description of their subjects—with enlargements of image fragments and writes, “Look very closely. What do you see? What could it be?” The rhymed introductions create a sense of buoyancy and rhythm in reading and progress through the photographs becomes an involving guessing game. The images of exotic flora and fauna are remarkably clear and while the book does not include an index, table of contents or list of further readings—the elements are hardly necessary given the intended audience and the level of the material—Serafini appends a Photographer’s Note at the conclusion which encourages young readers to appreciate nature’s beauty and preserve it for future generations.