Toby and the Ice Giants, by Joe Lillington, (Flying Eye Books), 32 pages, release date 11 August, 2015
Toby and the Ice Giants is a picture book designed to grow along with young readers. The basic story is simple: Toby the bison is a youngster out to explore his world. He meets all sorts of Ice Age creatures. The wooly rhinoceros tries to pick a fight. Smilodon, who we sometimes call a sabre-toothed tiger, wants to eat him for dinner. He even passes the campsite of a group of two-legged creatures who live and dress in bison and mammoth skins and who are accompanied by dogs!
The story of Toby’s adventures and his return home will delight the read-to-me crowd, especially any giant beast enthusiasts among them. Then, when a young reader is ready to do some reading on her own, she can explore the side panels that appear on about half of the book’s pages and that offer all sorts of information about these creatures: size, weight, diet, habitat. The book also tackles the disappearance of these great creatures, tying it to changes in climate and plant life and to the hunting patterns of those two-legged creatures Toby encountered.
If you want a book that welcomes rereading—and reading in different sorts of ways—you and your younger friends will enjoy Toby and the Ice Giants.