The lively text of Small Wonders takes readers on an amazing journey across Canada to see baby animals in their natural homes. Young readers will travel from mountains to prairie grasslands, up to the Far North, into coastal waters, even to their backyards to see animal families play, communicate, feed, and learn. Meet 14 favorite Canadian animals including a moose and calf, Canada goose and goslings, loon and chicks, beaver and kits, and more. With each animal, one text block situates the reader in a new environment and introduces the baby animal in the scene. Then, on each page, we also hear from the baby animal itself, as the moose calf tells us how it will grow huge antlers, for instance, or the wolf pup how it will learn to howl. Marilyn Baillie’s lyrical text is a wonderful meld of non-fiction fact and story-telling rhythm. A perfect read-aloud at bedtime, this is also a book that is an engaging non-fiction introduction to the natural world. A page at the back of the book goes into more depth on aspects of each animal — such as how orcas communicate or how mountain sheep can nimbly climb steep mountainsides.
About the authors
MARILYN BAILLIE has enjoyed a varied career as an award-winning children's writer, a nursery school teacher, a lecturer at the Royal Ontario Museum, and a children's magazine and book editor. She is the author of numerous beloved children's books including Nose to Toes, Small Wonders: Baby Animals in the Wild, Amazing Things Animals Do, Animals at the EDGE: Saving the World's Rarest Creatures, and Whoosh! A Watery World of Wonderful Creatures. She is a former editor of chickaDEE magazine and lives in Toronto, Canada.
Romi Caron is a professional illustrator with over 18 years of experience illustrating children books. She has illustrated more than 40 books for children, including two written by Marilyn Baillie, Small Wonders and Amazing Things Animals Do. Her books have been nominated for numerous awards, including Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, the Saskatchewan Young Reader's Choice Awards, and the Outstanding Children's Book Award from the Animal Behaviour Society of Canada.
- Short-listed, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards, Shining Willow Award
- Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice Selection
- Commended, Science Books & Films, Editor's Choice
The animals and their young described here…should be somewhat familiar to all young listeners and readers. The author’s statement on the first page sets the tone and purpose for what follows: ‘All the amazing animals in this book share the land, the air, and the sea with us. Each one is ours to admire and protect.’ Illustrations of each animal, adult and young, and the appropriate habitat are in watercolor — accurate, but lending a softness to the animals themselves, appealing to young readers without being ‘cute.’ …The anthropomorphic narration is an effective means of conveying accurate biological information to young readers.
Science Books & Films (SB&F)
This is a super introduction to Canadian wildlife…Lovely watercolor illustrations of animal families.
Travel for Kids
The juveniles’ narratives in particular will draw students in. The illustrations are beautiful…
Library Media Connection
This book takes the reader on a true safari through the Canadian animal kingdom…Highly recommended.
CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials
Both fun to read aloud and a beginning source of information, this book can be used in many ways with young students and emerging readers…This book should be a worthwhile addition to an elementary school library collection.
Marilyn Baillie’s informative and entertaining text is very nicely illustrated by the artistic talents of Romi Caron…A welcome and recommended addition to school and community library collections.
Midwest Book Review
The book was easy for me to read. I enjoyed it so much, I read it a few times. I would give this book a score of 10 out of 10. In a word, it was AWESOME!
Kristen Greenlaw, age 8, KNOW Magazine
This is a large children’s book with pages that are filled, from edge to edge, with lovely watercolors depicting animal families. The focus is on the babies, of course, but between the information block on the left page and what you find out on the right, written from the baby animal’s point of view, you learn a great deal about the babies and what their lives will be like as they grow…Lovely!
Eclectic Home School Online
A book for the young that speaks directly to them…
The Globe and Mail
Small Wonders: Baby Animals in the Wild (Canadian Geographic Kids)Journey across our land to visit baby animals in their natural homes. From mountains to prairies, kids see animals play, feed and grow.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.