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Curious Critters with David FitzSimmons

David FitzSimmons and Curious CrittersPatrons, especially children and families, are invited to 24-image exhibit of strange, unique and eye- catching animals by award-winning photographer David FitzSimmons entitled "Curious Critters" through July 26 at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair Street.

The images are included in his popular children's book, Curious Critters, which earned the coveted Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book by the Independent Book Publishers Association. FitzSimmons' images of such critters as a brilliant red flat bark beetle, an adorable Southern flying squirrel, and a wide-eyed Eastern screech-owl are all about getting children to fall in love with nature. Unlike many photographers who focus on exotic animals, FitzSimmons brings common, backyard animals up close and personal. His picture book was an outgrowth of his traveling exhibit, which features colorful, engaging, and detailed photographs of truly curious-looking animals that mesmerize viewers of all ages, especially as the subjects are all photographed against white backgrounds.

Families can join FitzSimmons during the program, "Curious Critters," on Sunday, June 9 from 2-4 p.m. at Central Library. At 2 p.m. in the Learning Curve's Green Screen Theater, FitzSimmons will show common North American animals, from butterflies and birds to frogs and flying squirrels. With the help of the audience, he will perform parts of his book. Children will shriek like hawks, hop like toads, and slither like snakes. They'll learn how butterflies drink, ways mammals fly, and why frogs sing. This show will include puppets and take-home activities for all children.

At 3 p.m. in the Atrium, FitzSimmons will discuss how he turned his superb portraits of animals into the award-winning children's book. After explaining the history of the project, FitzSimmons will describe the techniques, challenges and purposes for photographing creatures against white backgrounds. He'll also discuss the process of bringing a book from idea to reality.

Call 275-4099 for more information about this free Library event.