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Reviewed by Diana Lopez for Readers' Favorite
Hanging Out with Wild Animals: Book One is a collection of illustrated poems, which includes photographs of birds, sea animals, and much more. Cheryl Batavia radiates the joy of being in touch with nature and learning new things. In cities, we don't have many opportunities to see animals other than pets, but this book gives us a close-up look at a variety of creatures represented in their natural habitat, giving us a glimpse of other environments. Animals are part of Florida's ecosystem and this collection brings to mind sensations and emotions that only the natural world can provide. Cheryl encourages us to get in touch with nature and to seek new experiences. She assists us in understanding our environment, using a different approach that shows that deep down we are all connected.
I enjoyed the photographs because they show the animals in their natural environment, which in turn deepens our appreciation of the poems. What I appreciated the most was the many interesting facts about animals contained in the poetry. Besides being a recreational book, it is also educational. Hanging Out with Wild Animals shows the gentler side of many species. Even predators are portrayed positively and honestly, generating a different understanding of the animal world. This is a book that both children and adults will enjoy. Cheryl Batavia’s poetry is imaginative and helps to build awareness of nature and the need to respect all living creatures.