April 03, 2020

West Coast Wild Babies

Written by Deborah Hodge
Illustrated by Karen Reczuch
Groundwood Books
36 pp.
Ages 3-7
April 2020

With West Coast Wild Babies, the sequel to their West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet (Groundwood, 2015), author Deborah Hodge and artist Karen Reczuch bring an abundance of baby animals to herald the spring, offering hope for a new generation and a whole lot of cuteness.

Whether you are familiar with the Pacific West Coast or not, West Coast Wild Babies will transport you to its magnificent rainforests and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Whether from "high in the trees, low on the forest floor, inside burrows and dens, and deep in the waters of this wild and beautiful place," the diversity of the region's ecosystems, populations and climate are on full display.
From West Coast Wild Babies by Deborah Hodge, illus. by Karen Reczuch
In each double-spread, Deborah Hodge introduces us to an animal on the west coast, describing the young and their behaviour such as camouflage, foods eaten or prepared, movement and more. Her text may be information but it is poetic and perfectly accompanied by Karen Reczuch's watercolour and coloured pencil illustrations of an adult or two with the babies in their habitat.
From West Coast Wild Babies by Deborah Hodge, illus. by Karen Reczuch
The animals presented in West Coast Wild Babies include the gray wolf, black-tailed deer, bald eagle, black bear, orca, rufous hummingbird, harbor seal, chum salmon, pelagic cormorant, northern Pacific tree frog, black oystercatcher, sea otter and gray whale, although a few additional animals including the raccoon and human also turn up on the pages.
From West Coast Wild Babies by Deborah Hodge, illus. by Karen Reczuch
Though West Coast Wild Babies is at its heart an information book, Deborah Hodge and Karen Reczuch elevate the book beyond just a compendium of facts. They have created a spring journey into the wilds of the Pacific coast to take a sneak peek at families growing and playing, living and feeding, and welcomed us into their homes. West Coast Wild Babies is the best of so many worlds, not the least of which is seeing into those environments without disturbing them and without travel which is currently prohibited.

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