May 5, 2016
Now You See Them, Now You Don’t: Poems about Creatures that Hide by David Harrison, illustrated by Giles Laroche
Now You See Them, Now You Don’t:
Poems about Creatures that Hide
by David Harrison
illustrated by Giles Laroche
When I picked this up, I thought it was a book about camouflage — animals that use specialized coloration to hide. It is about camouflage but it is about more including animals that hide in their dens to seek safety from predators.
This isn’t a straight narrative text. Harrison also writes poetry and this book is a fun, informative collection of poems. Some rhyme, some don’t. They all teach but they do so in a way that makes it fun.
Some of the animals in the book rely on camouflage — the polar bear, the tiger and the copperhead. Others, such as the bumblebee moth, are mimics disguising themselves as a more threatening animal. Others, namely the hawk, rely on keen eyesight to spot their prey from afar. The hawk can see the mouse but does the mouse even realize that the hawk is there.
Laroche’s cut paper artwork gives texture and color to illustrations that could easily be flat and lifeless. But his art and Harrison’s words combine to create spreads that draw the reader in to explore the world of these animals.
I think my favorite poem in the book is “Copperhead.” My family spends a great deal of time in Southern Missouri. If the area had a representative snake, it would definitely be the copperhead, bold, brassy and master of remaining hidden from sight.
This would be a fun story time book as well as an inspirational text for students learning about animals or habitat as well as those who might want to try their hand at collage. Harrison’s books always have multiple layers and, in part because of this, are an excellent addition to the classroom bookcase. Use this book to teach about the natural world or writing poetry.