________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 32. . . .April 24, 2015


The Queen's Shadow: A Story About How Animals See.

Cybèle Young.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2015.
40 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-894786-60-7.

Subject Heading:
Vision-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Ellen Heaney.

** /4



The Queen's ball had begun like any other of her royal parties– lavish displays of food and festive entertainment were being enjoyed by society's most important nobility.


This is followed by the information, set apart from the story in a box, that:

internal art  

The Lancehead is a pit viper snake that has a pair of special pit organs, one between each eye and nostril, that are heat sensitive for seeing the infrared glow of body heat in darkness. Lancehead snakes use these organs mostly for hunting prey at night, and even when blindfolded, they can accurately attack a warm-blooded animal or find a cold hole for shelter in a hot desert. The fact boxes describe the configuration of each animal's eyes, their strengths and weaknesses. The last three spreads of the book offer even more information about sight in general and about the animals mentioned in the main text, plus a glossary.

     Young is also the illustrator here. Pen-and-ink drawings in pastel hues have been coloured in Photoshop. The animals are naturalistic in style while the Queen and her palace background are suggested in a more fantastic light.

     The real problem is that the format of the book is at odds with the informational component. Children reading for the story will be confused, perhaps not staying the course long enough to find out that, much to the delight of the sea urchins, the Queen has left her shadow 'in the loo' (if young children even know that term). Although there is rich material in The Queen's Shadow: A Story about How Animals See, those looking to find out about animal vision will have to wade through content that distracts from their search.

Recommended with Reservations.

Ellen Heaney is a retired children's librarian living in Coquitlam, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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