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Baby Animals - Angela Serena Ildos

Baby Animals

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

YOU might well think that a book entitled Baby Animals is primarily for children, but you would be wrong. True, children will love it but so too, will adults. And the reason is simple. It contains what must surely be the definitive collection of photographs of young animals that you could ever wish to find.

As is usual with books of this nature, Baby Animals is divided into sections – 11 in all, if you count the introduction. Others include First Steps, Family Life, Warm and Safe and Sleepyheads; subjects that pretty much speak for themselves.

Each section is, however, accompanied by a simple yet informative text, but more importantly perhaps, each image has its own caption so the reader can see in an instant exactly what it is they’re looking at. Which is not always the case and can be particularly frustrating when the two are pages apart.

As for the images themselves, they are quite remarkable. Yet should we expect anything less when they’re the work of some of the world’s leading wildlife photographers?

But haven’t we seen it all before?, I hear you ask. The answer is probably yes but as I’ve said before, no two people see things in quite the same way and that alone, does much to explain the amazing variety of shots.

Moreover, take into account any number of extraneous factors and the shot not only becomes unique but also a testament to the extraordinary and diverse nature of life itself – the crocodile glimpsing the world through its partially broken shell or young elephants playing with their trunks, for example.

Just one criticism – such is the quality of the images, that many deserve a larger spread. And I don’t just mean a double-page spread as the White Star publishers have, in certain instances, deemed appropriate. However well intentioned, the practice inevitably distorts the image.

What I do mean is that the book itself could be bigger. But then again, I guess that would defeat its purpose as a Cube Book. That said, Baby Animals is an absolute delight and a welcome addition to any collection.

As a matter of interest, Angela Serena Ildos also wrote and edited The Great National Parks of the World. Read review