Book Review: Curious Critters

I have to say that I absolutely love children's books that use real photographs in them and when they form the basis of the book, you get a beautiful creation like Curious Critters.

From the Publisher:
In his children's picture book CURIOUS CRITTERS (November 2011, Wild Iris Publishing, hardcover, ages 4-8) photographer David FitzSimmons turns his camera on a variety of animals common throughout North America. CURIOUS CRITTERS presents stunning images of everyday animals, including a red flat bark beetle, an Eastern spiny softshell turtle, a spotted salamander, and many other intriguing creatures. Each Curious Critter is photographed against a white backdrop, showcasing the animals' colors, textures, and shapes with precision and clarity. Along with each photo is a vignette, told from the critter's perspective, that educates and entertains. For example, a bush katydid explains her bubblegum-pink color, a poetic opossum opines upon her often-shortened name, and a far-from-modest black swallowtail butterfly lets readers in on her secret for avoiding predators.

When parents read CURIOUS CRITTERS with their kids not only will they have fun reading, but they also inspire in them a life-long interest in nature. Kids will want to swap TV and video games for a trips to the park or more time in the backyard. So, get ready to have a budding biologist on your hands!

Just some of what kids will learn:
  • What turtles and humans have in common
  • Why black swallowtail butterflies impersonates their toxic cousins
  • How Eastern box turtles can live longer than humans (over 150 years!)
  • If squirrels can fly
  • Why crayfish grow new legs
  • How bats find food
  • Why frogs sing
  • How jumping spiders jump and why they never have to look over their shoulders.
My Review:

This book is fabulous!  Every photo jumps off the page at you and captured my attention and both Liam and Erik's too!  While Erik is a little young to grasp the linkages and information, he was entranced by the photography and images.  Liam enjoyed having everything read to him and then identifying the parts of each creature as well as finding out more about each animal.  
My favorite page was the jabbering blue jay, and you could see every feather and the twinkle in his eye in the photo!  
If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher or just a nature lover who likes kids - you need to add this book to your collection - it will bring you hours of joy!

About David FitzSimmons:

David FitzSimmons is a freelance photographer and writer as well as a university professor. He photographs and writes for various magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, PopularPhotography, and Shutterbug, newspapers, and online publications, and his over-100 calendar credits include numerous titles by BrownTrout and Barnes & Noble. Curious Critters is David's first children's picture book.

A former high school English teacher, David has been in education for twenty years. He is a professor at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio. David holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University, with a specialty in narrative theory-investigating the components of storytelling-something that influences his photography and writing.

David was inspired to photograph and write about nature by his parents, Mick and Judy FitzSimmons, active environmentalists and life-long teachers, and he is assisted in his natural history endeavors by his wife, Olivia, a naturalist, and his two daughters, Sarah and Phoebe.

One of five Sigma Pro photographers in North America, David presents seminars and workshops to a wide variety of audiences, from public school groups and college classes to nature centers and civic organizations. His works have been exhibited at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, the National Center for Nature Photography, and the Telluride Photo Festival, among other venues. David's environmentally focused, multi-media performance, "350: Images of Fragile Earth," travels widely.

Visit David at:

Getting your hands on the book:
You can order an autographed and personalized copy for just $19.95 by visiting, or if you don't want it personalized, you can order from Amazon, which offers the book for just $13.46 (and it's eligible for FREE Prime Shipping).  You can also get a sneak peek at what's inside the cover, get coloring pages and more at