Author and award-winning freelance photographer David FitzSimmons has created a sophisticated and beautiful new book, Curious Critters to instill in children an appreciation for nature. Intended to stimulate and instruct, be prepared to learn a thing or two yourself, as you explore what it’s like to be a Red Flat Bark Beetle, Black Swallowtail butterfly, Spotted Salamander, Red Eyed Vireo or Chinese Praying Mantis.


FitzSimmons’ macro animal photography is amazing, the critters jump off the page and into your mind and lap.

21 critters are cleverly presented and detailed:

  • each close-up appears with playful “first-person” text
  • there’s a “natural history” 2-page recap – a small snapshot with info akin to an encyclopedia
  • the group of 21 critters is depicted in a 2-page spread – a life-size graphic silhouette of each critter is represented and children can have fun figuring out which animal is which, and answering questions regarding what animal grouping they’re a part of (amphibians, crustaceans, insects, mammals, etc).
  • there’s also a useful glossary (echolocation, anyone?); and of course, the answers to the various questions posed.


Curious Critters is not your average children’s picture book. Parents and grandparents will appreciate it as much as children. It could sit on your coffee table for anyone to enjoy, ($19.95). Find games, education resources and more @

(note: recommended for grades K-4)

full disclosure: Wild Iris Publishing provided a complimentary copy of the book for the purposes of our Tried and True Review.