One of the great things about being an independent bookseller is the opportunity to be a matchmaker. Every day folks come into Bay Books here in Bay St. Louis and ask us to match the age, gender, interests, favorite authors or best-loved titles of a particular reader with a new title that we all hope will be just right. During the holiday shopping season, that opportunity presents itself (if we’re lucky) many times a day. A book that is coming up as the right choice for many this season is “Among the Animals Mississippi” by Stephen Kirkpatrick, written by Marlo Kirkpatrick.
Whether the shopper is looking for a local or regional book, a book about nature or animals, an educational book for children or a simply a great picture book, this new volume by Jackson photographer Stephen Kirkpatrick is a beautiful look at the animals of the State of Mississippi. And it’s not just for kids. His exceptional images of the wildlife of Mississippi demonstrate the depth of detail and the patience required to “capture” these creatures of our state.
The award-winning photographer Kirkpatrick’s other book include “Images of Madison County,” “Mississippi Impressions,” “Lost In the Amazon,” “Romancing the Rain,” “Wilder Mississippi,” “To Catch the Wind,” “In Wilderness Song,” “Wild Mississippi,” “Whistling Wing” and “First Impressions.”
Kirkpatrick says that “Among the Animals Mississippi,” like most of his books was four or five years in the making. He’d thought about a children’s book, but until he partnered with Chevron of Mississippi he didn’t have the vehicle to combine the images of animals in the state with an environmental and educational message. The book invites kids to leave the noise of television and video games behind and go outdoors to see what’s happening.
Stephen and Marlo Kirkpatrick took the sensibilities of kids into account—surprisingly not always the case with some adult authors who think creating a book for kids requires little effort—using early childhood educators for advice on the language, voice and layout. Kirkpatrick says, “I usually have a different style design for my travel or coffee table books, but for youngsters we needed to have a design with more visual stimulation.”
Adult readers will find many ways to connect with children as they read together admiring the stunning photographs and learning how animals hide from predators, protect their homes, find food and interact with their families as the animals are “inviting you to their Mississippi to see how they eat, sleep, play and act when no one is watching.”
For information on appearances and photo programs by Stephen Kirkpatrick, see www.kirkpatrickwildlife.com.
Books are available at your local book seller and featured by independent book stores throughout Mississippi
Reviewed by: Kay Gough
Bay Books, Bay St. Louis