Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Life in the Jungle by Beck Ward; illustrated by Chris Embleton

Life In The Jungle by Beck Ward; illustrated by Chris Embleton

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 10 pages
Publisher: Running Press Kids (September 7, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0762418435
ISBN-13: 978-0762418435
Source of book: Received as gift

This week's baby/preschooler selection is a book that kept my daughter occupied for half an hour last night. For a 14-month old, this is no small feet.

A Magic Windows Touch and Feel Book, Life In The Jungle invites children to guess the identity of a variety of jungle animals in the book. Each page presents clues to the animal's identity, along with a colored, textured panel, or window, that looks and feels similar to what the animal may feel like in real life. The illustrations on the book also show the animal's habitat, and the panel is built into that habitat.

Here's an example:

"I have bright and beautiful feathers.
My beak is curved and pointy.
Rub my velvety chest.
What am I?"

The illustration is of a large tree with a hole in the middle. The hole is filled up with a bright blue velvety patch.

After reading the clues and feeling the panel, the child can pull a tab, and out comes a "hidden" panel that's built into the book, revealing the animal.

In our example, we see a colorful macaw.

Other animals in the book include a crocodile, a snake, an elephant, a butterfly, and more.

The text is simple enough for a young child to understand, but babies and toddlers who can't yet comprehend the language will also enjoy the textures and colors in the book. The colorful illustrations are also attention grabbing. Younger children will need help pulling out the panels because it's a little difficult for uncoordinated fingers, especially when the book is new.

I'm a fan of touch and feel books for very young children because the different textures keep them engaged and help them develop a love for books.


  1. Sounds like another great touch and feel book. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. I have one of the author's touch-and-feel books in the French version that was given to me as a gift from Paris; any ideas where I could find the others in French? Amazon didn't have them...

  3. Anonymous,
    I did a quick search and couldn't find anything, but I sent out a message to the kidlitosphere community asking if they knew where to books in foreign languages. I'll let you know what I find.

    Thanks for visiting!

  4. Anon,
    It didn't take long to get a response from the kidlitosphere community. Here's where you can find more books by Beck Ward in French.