Books by Katherine Zecca

A PUFFIN’S YEAR by Katherine Zecca
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2007

Who can resist puffins with their large eyes, upright posture and bright orange beaks? The clowns of the ocean, puffins spend most of their lives in the north Atlantic, coming ashore for only a few months of the year to breed and raise their chicks. In her first book for children, scientific illustrator Zecca describes and illustrates this process in clear simple language and invitingly detailed gouache-and-colored-pencil illustrations, each a double-page spread. Beginning with the moment when the puffin mates reconnect, she goes on to explain how they prepare their burrow, incubate their single egg and feed the puffling after it hatches until it can take off into the ocean on its own. In an afterword strikingly different in style and tone, Stephen Kress, the director of Project Puffin, reminds readers (or, more likely, the adults presenting the book) of the threat of ocean pollution and global warning and need to support conservation issues; describes his program of puffin restoration in general terms; and points readers to the project's website. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10. Younger for reading aloud)Read full book review >
IN MY BACKYARD by Valarie Giogas
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2007

Giogas's debut is a nature counting book that teaches young childen the names of animals' young, as well as what to call a group of that animal. "In my backyard I can see / groups of baby animals / all around me. / They creep, they crawl, they run, and hide. / They munch, they crunch, they sleep outside." From a prickle of two pups (porcupines) to a surfeit of seven kits (skunks), she highlights both the usual and the unusual. Readers will learn an interesting fact about each: eating habits, habitat and adaptations. Zecca's softly colored illustrations portray realistic-looking animals. Each page features one larger picture in which to find and count the babies, and smaller pictures that are close-ups, or that show the animal in their home or backyard setting. Backmatter includes animal cards to photocopy or download, a summary page showing where each of the baby animals is hiding, signs that animals are around, information on caring for wildlife and steps to take if you find an injured animal. While the rhythms of the verses are not always lyrical, young naturalists will nonetheless enjoy this one, especially since Pam Muñoz Ryan's A Pinky is a Baby Mouse (1997) is out of print. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >