Poetry Friday: Now You See Them


Find me
if you can. . .
for if you
I’ll be here
tomorrow . . .

Animals and insects use camouflage to hide from hunters or to ambush prey. Stealth is a very useful technique when it comes to survival. In this fun and informative collection of poems, we meet animals such as the polar bear and the octopus; the ghost crab and the copperhead snake; and many more that use camouflage to hunt or to hide.

Giles Laroche’s intricate cut-paper illustrations are beautiful and life-like. Readers will have to look carefully or run the risk of a hunter sneaking up on them.

Back matter offers additional information about each of the nineteen animals.


I have a real soft spot for picture books that break through genre boundaries, particularly nonfiction titles that use poetry to make learning both educational and inspiring.

Image result for now you see them now you don't harrison

Now You See Them Now You Don’t celebrates animal camouflage through clever wordplay and stunning paper cut illustrations. From the sea to the desert, and from the tundra to the forest floor, Harrison tells the stories of both predators and prey, highlighting how animals use camouflage in a variety of fascinating ways.

Image result for now you see them now you don't harrison

Giles Laroche’s illustrations are stunning, and reminiscent of the great Steve Jenkins. There are familiar faces, like the tiger and the praying mantis, and less familiar, but no less intriguing creatures, like the ghost crab and the reef stonefish.

Like all good nonfiction titles, Now You See Them Now You Don’t includes information on each animal, and additional titles for further reading.

Image result for now you see them now you don't harrison

When authors break outside of the genre box they help make their books appealing to a broader range of readers. Children who might never otherwise pick up a nonfiction text might be drawn to a beautifully illustrated collection of poems, and a child who might typically sneer at poetry might thrill at a book about wild animals.

Now You See Them Now You Don’t is a great example of a creative nonfiction text, and one that’s definitely worth checking out!

Now You See Them Now You Don’t

Hardcover, 32 pages
February 16, 2016 : Charlesbridge
Source: Library


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  • Reply katswhiskers

    Brilliant! What is not to LOVE about facts rolling off the tongue in playful language – matched with gorgeous illustrations!! Great find & share! Thank-you.

    February 2, 2018 at 10:30 am
  • Reply lindabaie

    I love all David’s books, Jane, and this is a marvelous one. It’s great that you highlighted it today.

    February 2, 2018 at 3:17 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Isn’t it just wonderful? I love finding books like this, I can’t wait to share it with students.

      February 6, 2018 at 2:16 am
    • Reply lindabaie

      Jane, FYI, for some reason security wise, I couldn’t log in Monday to comment on your post. Now here I AM logged in. I will try once more, have no problem with other sites. If you don’t see my comment, will you check if I am somehow blocked?

      February 7, 2018 at 10:10 pm
  • Reply Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    A wonderful review, Jane! Were you hanging around Poetry Friday in early 2016? If not, I think you might enjoy my interview with David Harrison, featuring this book as well. https://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/2016/02/spotlight-on-david-l-harrison-dmc.html

    February 2, 2018 at 4:01 pm
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      Oooooh, going to go read this right now!!!!

      February 2, 2018 at 8:25 pm
  • Reply jama

    Had not seen this one — love those cut paper illos. Thanks for sharing the sample poems!

    February 2, 2018 at 4:55 pm
  • Reply Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff)

    Yes, what a brilliant book! I love that it shows how poetry can be a part of so much learning and writing. And I might have been more willing to explore nonfiction as a kid if someone had put a book like this in my hands!

    February 2, 2018 at 6:31 pm
  • Reply Linda Mitchell

    Ooooooooooooooh, thank you for including some of the artwork. It really IS stunning. And, this would sit well on my middle school library shelf. Thank you!

    February 2, 2018 at 11:51 pm
  • Reply Matt Forrest Esenwine

    I remember David sharing the Copperhead poem on his blog last year, and I love it. Looks like a great book – thanks for sharing, Jane!

    February 3, 2018 at 1:36 am
  • Reply Robyn Hood Black

    Another terrific David Harrison book – and, that art! Love your observation re. the appeal of a book like this to readers with different interests/tastes… :0)

    February 3, 2018 at 3:58 am
    • Reply Jane the Raincity Librarian

      I’m always looking for books that might appeal to kids who are certain that they don’t like something. So often it’s because they haven’t been introduced to the incredible variety of styles and formats available to us these days!

      February 6, 2018 at 2:19 am
  • Reply Michelle Kogan

    What a beautiful and rich book Jane–the arts exquisite. It has many of my favorite things in it, critters, poetry and art, thanks for sharing it with us!

    February 3, 2018 at 6:37 am
  • Reply Anonymous

    I appreciate David’s poetry playfulness so much – he is a master. And I’ve seen Guy LaRoche’s work before – intricate & inviting. A child or adult can lose themselves in these pages, while coming away
    with some fetching facts. Appreciations for sharing this title new to me.

    February 3, 2018 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply bookseedstudio

    I always enjoy David’s word play & his energy.
    And I have seen Guy LaRoche’s work before.
    It’s fun to be pulled into Guy’s intricate cut-paper images & be lost in that world, while
    feeding the brain with David’s fetching facts shared in delightful ways.
    Appreciations for your sharing this title new to me.

    February 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm
  • Reply Diane Mayr

    You couldn’t ask for a better combination of art and poetry. The cut paper illustrations really make the pages pop!

    February 3, 2018 at 8:20 pm
  • Reply Carol Varsalona (@cvarsalona)

    Jane, thanks for making NF so interesting by sharing with us the effects of merging poetry with NF.

    February 3, 2018 at 9:31 pm
  • Reply Laura Shovan

    Wow! Gorgeous art. Those octopus spreads are so cool! I love the “octo-lethal arms.”

    February 3, 2018 at 11:15 pm
  • Reply Myra GB

    I hear what you’re saying about Giles Laroche’s art – I am a huge fan myself – love this post! Will definitely be on the lookout for this title.

    February 4, 2018 at 10:23 am
  • Reply Tara Smith

    This sounds like such fun! I’ll have to find a copy for my classroom.

    February 4, 2018 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Brenda Davis Harsham

    Fabulous. I love Charlesbridge books. I agree about genre-busters. They make readers of more kids.

    February 5, 2018 at 2:23 am
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