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Apeby Martin Jenkins
Synopses & Reviews
With compelling illustrations and a conservationist slant, this look at four rare great apes — and one very familiar one — is a book to go ape over.
Swing with a hairy orangutan and her baby as they lunge for a smelly, spiky durian fruit. Roam and play with a gang of chimps, then poke out some tasty termites with a blade of grass. Chatter and feast on figs with a bonobo, or chomp on bamboo with a gorilla as he readies for sleep. What could be better than spending time with these rare and wonderful creatures — after all, the fifth great ape on this planet is you!
"The premise is simple: introduce readers to four of the five members of the great ape family (the fifth member is actually the reader). But in the hands of White, a former zookeeper making her picture book debut, this becomes much more than a garden-variety survey. Working in oil and pencil, White portrays orangutans, chimps, bonobos and gorillas as imposing and playful, brooding and wistful — in other words, as having psychologically complex, fully realized personalities. The pictures are consistently stunning: using bold brushstrokes and theatrical lighting, White compels readers to savor the subtle nuances of browns and black that compose each animal's fur. Jenkins's (The Emperor's Egg) economical, conservation-oriented text ably sets each scene ('Bonobo chatters and hoots and calls to her friends, while feasting on figs high off the ground') while occasional captions add information about the apes' habitat or behavior. But this book isn't really about reportage; in fact, the portraits are set against white sweeps with only minimal propping to suggest the environment. What seems to matter for White is making an intense emotional connection between subject and reader. And she succeeds — the great apes have found their John Singer Sargent. Ages 3-7." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
With compelling illustrations and a conservationist slant, this look at four rare great apes--and one very familiar one--is a book that readers are sure to go ape over.
About the Author
Martin Jenkins, a conservation biologist, has written several nonfiction books for children, including GRANDMA ELEPHANT'S IN CHARGE, THE EMPEROR'S EGG, and CHAMELEONS ARE COOL. He lives in Cambridge, England.
Vicky White worked as a zookeeper for several years beore earning an MA in natural history illustration from Londons Royal College of Art. APE is her first picture book.
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