Rodent Rascals by Roxie Munro
Rodent Rascals instantly captures attention with a cover showcasing a trio of adorable little critters. The subtext reveals that this picture book contains a selection of astonishing facts about some relatively small mammals, all of them rodents. I could reasonably identify the hamster and the gerbil featured on the cover. However, I wondered about the creature with humongous protruding eyes, strangely long tail, and folded legs which appear longer that its entire body? I puzzled: What is that animal? I wanted to find out more.
I was also captivated by the "actual size" concept. How would Roxie Munro illustrate a book of animals showing true-to-life dimensions within a book approximately 10 1/4 inches wide? I imagined all kinds of possibilities.
I couldn't wait to discover how she accomplishes this feat.
Moving on to my second question: How to depict all these animals at actual size? The very clever Munro figured out a way. As the animals become progressively larger, we see parts of the animals, the beavers' webbed feet, a close-up of the capybara head in profile. Each body part is presented at an authentic size.
Readers will want to spend time poring over these pages. Munro manages to give each animal a distinct charm and character without sacrificing anatomical accuracy. For readers like me who have lived a life filled with hamsters and guinea pigs, this book will bring fond memories. The guinea pig has an uncanny resemblance to a class pet named Daphne. I could almost hear her sweet little squeak. For those who have are fascinated by flying squirrels and naked mole rats, this is the book for you. Rodent Rascals is a novel and engaging way to approach nonfiction.