A poetic tour of 27 exquisitely detailed animal habitats awaits readers in French writer and illustrator Isabelle Simler's picture book Home, translated by Vineet Lal.

Simler (Sweet Dreamers) depicts the adaptability and creativity of the animal kingdom through illustrations of astounding, unusual, and breathtaking dwellings; each spread is accompanied by a poem that comments on the beauty and purpose of the habitats. Foam-nest tree frog eggs nestle securely "in our ball of foam,/ whipped up like Chantilly cream" while an adult frog placidly lounges on the branch over the frothy meringue of the nest. "I live in the vertical plane," says a cross orbweaver spider stretching its elegant, furred legs on the tightrope edge of its intricate "Lace Citadel" web. A common octopus "don[s] my ocean-floor dress," camouflaged to match the sandy floor as it reclines below a bower of rock and shells. Moths and caddisflies delicately emerge from their larval structures, feathery European fan worms wave in the current, and a sweeping carpet of woven nests made by sociable weaver birds drapes through the wiry branches of an acacia tree.

Brilliantly colored digital, pencil-like strokes layer together like grass in a woven nest to make up each of Simler's illustrations. Her poems combine imagery and habitat facts in a clever, often playful voice that encourages readers to see the wonder and fun of the natural world. Backmatter includes a list of the included animals with further facts, a glossary, and a brief list of recommended resources. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services manager, Allen County Public Library

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