Chair and professor
Department of English
“Man is defined as a rational animal, but children’s books reveal that animals have their reasons too, and know how to express them. Rudyard Kipling’s Baloo the Bear, Bagheera the Black Panther, the Monkey People, the wolf pack, and the lame tiger Shere Khan in The Jungle Book calculate risks, balance loyalties, dispute motives, and strive to win regard.
“Kim Kurki’s World of Birds: A Beginner’s Guide is just as knowledgeable about animals, elucidating North American birds’ many reasons for singing, scavenging, scuffling and scattering south. Kurki’s pictures combine accuracy with capricious, avian traits.”