Reviews for Orangutan

Booklist Reviews 2013 April #1
Wildlife photographer Eszterhas' up-close photographs of a young Sumatran orangutan in the wild are stunning. From the inquisitive baby's eyes on the cover to the tender clutching-her-mama photo on the first page, Eszterhas captures the exact attributes of a baby orangutan that endear it to humans. She follows the baby from birth to maturity at age six and captures the close relationship between baby and mother. The book highlights milestones for the young orangutan: the crucial early months; four months of age, when she begins to eat fruit; one year old, when climbing lessons begin; four years old, when she explores the wider world; five years old, when she explores on her own; and six years old, when she is fully grown. The fairly simple text tracks with the photographs to make it approachable, yet engaging, for emerging readers. Other than brief lapses into familiar language and personification, the book is accurate, dependable, and happily fills its niche. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #2
Laying on the cute with a shovel, Eszterhas tracks an orangutan from birth to maturity in photos and anthropomorphic commentary. Clambering over her distracted mother and often looking directly out at viewers, the hairy little imp shows plenty of personality as she suckles, learns to feed herself and gradually releases her tight hold on her parent's long red hair. Though the big, clear photos are all taken in the wild, the author's narrative frequently uses simile and metaphor to draw parallels with human behaviors with lines like "Mom is like an acrobat and uses her long arms to swing from branch to branch," and "On the baby orangutan's first birthday climbing lessons begin." The young primate ultimately becomes independent ("she loves to hang out with friends"), but when she finally has a baby of her own, she will introduce it "to her mother--Grandma orangutan." Eszterhas uses the same approach in the simultaneously publishing Sea Otter, but with less of the "awww, gee" factor since the mother and baby otters are so intertwined in the photos they're hard to tell apart. Both volumes end with fact pages. Both also feature jacket flaps that partially cover stunning endpaper photographs. Long on visual appeal, but the connections between animal and human behavior are too tightly drawn. (Informational picture book. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #4

A baby orangutan accompanies her mother throughout the Sumatran rainforest in this addition to the Eye on the Wild series. Eszterhas's vivid photographs chronicle the orangutan's early life as her mother teaches her to find fresh leaves, fruit, and bugs, as well as climb and swing from the trees. The text strikes a gentle balance between light anthropomorphism ("It's a bit scary at first without Mom but she remembers all the things Mom has taught her about living in the forest"), and factual details about the species. Readers should be fascinated by the orangutans' supple movements as they travel the jungle canopy and may observe how their interactions are not so different from the tenderness shared between a human mother and child. Available simultaneously: Sea Otter. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 May

K-Gr 3--Each book follows an animal from just after birth through to adulthood-for the sea otter, this is one year, and for the orangutan, five years. In color photos, readers see each baby growing, sleeping, eating, and interacting with its mother, though at times, it's difficult to identify specific body parts, and many of the photographs are very similar. The conversational texts include facts, an overview of the maturation process, and some slight fictionalization ("Being with Mom is great…."). While geographic areas in which each animal lives are mentioned, no maps are included. A bulleted list on each back page gives quick facts and a web address for further information. Though not standouts, these titles will likely be popular, thanks to the adorable photos that appear throughout.--Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Madison, WI

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