- Who Lives Here?, and: What Happens Next?
In these two titles in a new series, biologist and veteran author Davies adds a guessing-game, lift-the-flap turn to introductory nature study. What Happens Next? draws on a three-quarter page flap to reveal the answer to its title question in several different situations: for instance, a chameleon eyes a "juicy grasshopper," and a turn of the flap reveals that what happens next is the flick of a chameleon tongue making a meal of grasshopper. Who Lives Here? is a series of habitat-focused questions, with a question about a particular location ("Who lives in this warm and steamy jungle?") facing an array of four liftable flaps with three wrong answers and a right one (it's the sloth); each guessing spread is followed by a few lines explaining the animal's suitability to its habitat. Who Lives Here? is the more successful of the two, with entertaining paper engineering and a layout that allows for a bit of gamesmanship in the question. Audiences will enjoy poring over the query page for illustrative hints in the landscape and additional education value is found in the information about the "wrong answer" animals. What Happens Next? has too broad a subject, and the page-turn effect is more a gimmicky extra than a playful interactive element. These have a very different look from Davies' quiet single-species picture books; the digital art is crisply detailed, loudly colored, and slightly cartoonish in some of its designerly elements, and even Who Lives Here's flaps (which are unfortunately rather flimsy) sport busy and vivid clues to the relevant habitat. These might be enjoyable complements to Steve Jenkins' early nature study books such as Time to Eat, Time to Sleep, and Time for a Bath (BCCB 9/11), and even the least scientific of nature lovers will enjoy lifting flaps and guessing critters. Each book concludes with a quiz spread that gently queries audiences on which animals from the text go together.