‘Welcome to the Neighborwood’ by Shawn Sheehy
“Welcome to the Neighborwood”
by Shawn Sheehy, Candlewick, ages 4-8, $29.99
Imagine all the wonder of a natural history museum — the chance to see animals and their habitats up close — but without the creep-out factor of taxidermy. If your children love learning about animals but don’t dig them in glass cases, “Welcome to the Neighborwood” is for them. The book, which is more lap-size exhibit than traditional page-turner, profiles seven busy builders of the forest in spectacular pop-ups. A hummingbird in its nest, a honeybee and its hive, a beaver and its dam — are all rendered in complex, unfolding cut-paper magic. The artistry of the hexagon cells of the honey bee’s comb, the spider’s silk, the dimensionality of the beaver’s dam all beckon readers to look closer at the creatures. Adding to the magic — each of the little masterpieces moves. Just turning the pages makes the leaves flutter on one page and causes the fish to bob on another. The care and detail extends to the text. Engaging wildlife studies for budding naturalists link the animals of the forest to one another. The final page is a spectacular display showing all the animals living side by side.