Book review: Feathers and Hair: What Animals Wear, by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong

Ward, Jennifer. Feathers and Hair: What Animals Wear. Illus. by Jing Jing Tsong. Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, 2017. $17.99. unp. ISBN 978-1-4814-3081-4. Ages 3-6. P9Q9

Outerwear for animals—hair, scales, shells, horns, skin from thick to thin—are illustrated in magnificent collage, some of it highly colorful and others monochromatic. Equally engaging are the different perspectives such as the view inside the mouth of a roaring lion and the minimal text that provides a bit of information such as how the chameleon changes its colors. The finishing touch showing the only animal that wears clothes ties the human to the animals of the book. Some terms are explained, for example the reason that elephants are also called pachyderms: pachy for thick and derm for skin. Endnotes give more detail about the animals in order, providing scientific facts.

Verdict: The beauty of the book, including a variety of shapes and textures, makes this glorious book a joy to see, and the simplistic text makes this an early reader for children.

April 2017 review by Nel Ward.



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