Ron Hirschi grew up in the Pacific Northwest and developed a deep love and respect for animals. He went to college and studied Wildlife Ecology and has worked for various organizations as a wildlife biologist. Thomas D. Mangelson has dedicated his career as a photographer to the appreciation and protection of North American wildlife. Together they have fashioned a wonderful children's book for kids four through eight years old using photographs of animals at play in the wilderness.
In the text, Hirschi explains some of the reasons why play is good for animals: it helps them learn, strengthens their muscles, and enables them to feel part of a community. Enjoy the photographs of chipmunks exploring the world, elk calves in a meadow, grizzlies in tall grass, polar bears dancing, otters grooming one another, a fox chasing a magpie, and baboons in a group. Hirschi ends the book on a high note of celebration: "Watch closely and you will see many animals playing in the air, on the waves, or in the trees. Like you, these playful animals probably don't ask why they play. They simply play."