Deceptively simple yet wondrous.

Follow the journey of a tumbling tumbleweed.

In this picture book, lilting—or, more accurately, tumbling—rhyming couplets help readers bounce along with a tumbleweed as, over a period of unspecified time, winds roll it across the shifting terrains of dusty desert sands. What a journey this is. While the text is simple, with usually one couplet or simple phrase appearing on a page, the life forms that the plant encounters are complex. The tumbleweed and readers meet with a marvelous display of biodiversity—other plants and animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects—that proves that a desert bursts with life and myriad wonders. In the course of its travels over day into night and from sunshine into a thunderstorm, the tumbleweed comes into bloom, then travels onward: “Wind blows…Tumble goes and goes and goes.” Who knows where? Readers will have already learned from the gentle text that the possibilities are probably endless. Adults sharing this charming book about a little-known plant and its environs should encourage children to suggest—perhaps with simple rhymes—or illustrate what else the tumbleweed might meet as the wind rolls it across a desert. The many changes in colors in the illustrations suggest the desert’s vitality; dotted lines track the tumbleweed’s path and rotating movements. Some pages are wordless, allowing readers to focus on the evocative natural scenes and up-close views of wildlife. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Deceptively simple yet wondrous. (can you spot the plants and animals? fun facts about tumbleweeds) (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 6, 2023

ISBN: 9781338828665

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2023



From the Baby Loves… series

So rocket science can be fun.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

If they haven’t already thought about their futures (and they probably haven’t), toddlers and preschoolers might start planning after perusing this cheerful first guide to scientific careers. Plump-cheeked, wide-eyed tykes with various skin and hair colors introduce different professions, including zoologist, meteorologist, aerospace engineer, and environmental scientist, depicted with cues to tip readers off to what the jobs entail. The simple text presents the sometimes-long, tongue-twisting career names while helpfully defining them in comprehensible terms. For example, an environmental scientist “helps take care of our world,” and a zoologist is defined as someone who “studies how animals behave.” Scientists in general are identified as those who “study, learn, and solve problems.” Such basic language not only benefits youngsters, but also offers adults sharing the book easy vocabulary with which to expand on conversations with kids about the professions. The title’s ebullient appearance is helped along by the typography: The jobs’ names are set in all caps, printed in color and in a larger font than the surrounding text, and emphasized with exclamation points. Additionally, the buoyant watercolors feature clues to what scientists in these fields work with, such as celestial bodies for astronomers. The youngest listeners won’t necessarily get all of this, but the book works as a rudimentary introduction to STEM topics and a shoutout to scientific endeavors.

So rocket science can be fun. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62354-149-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019


From the Baby University series

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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