After learning all about how bees count, readers will be counting on Mr. Tate’s class to give them another environmental...

READ REVIEW

THESE BEES COUNT!

Formento and Snow successfully collaborate again (This Tree Counts! 2010) as the environmentally aware Mr. Tate takes his class on a field trip to Busy Bee Farm.

As in their previous text, counting has a dual purpose, with “1, 2, 3” taking a backseat to education. This time, Farmer Ellen helps the children suit up in beekeeping gear, then teaches the class about bees, apiaries and pollination. She encourages the children to listen to the bees’ buzz about their work: “We find three wild strawberries bursting with sweetness. / Four apple blossoms tickle us with soft petals.” Readers learn along with the class how bees transform nectar into honey and how that honey is extracted. A final author’s note goes into more detail about the vital importance of honeybees to agriculture, as well as telling readers more fascinating facts about bees, including their dances, their hierarchy within the hive and the jobs they do. A final paragraph mentions colony collapse disorder. The digital look of the illustrations detracts slightly, catching readers between the nature theme of the text and the rather sterilized artwork. Still, the adventures of this multicultural class of kids are sure to interest readers, and Snow makes it easy to identify and count the items in the pictures.  

After learning all about how bees count, readers will be counting on Mr. Tate’s class to give them another environmental armchair trip. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8075-7868-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups.

WOLF PUPS JOIN THE PACK

From the First Discoveries series

A photo album of young wolves running, playing, and growing through their first year.

Light on factual details, the uncredited text largely runs to vague observations along the lines of the fact that “young wolves need to rest every now and then” or that packs “differ in size. Some are large and have many wolves, while others are small with only a few.” The chief draws here are the big, color, stock photos, which show pups of diverse ages and species, singly or in groups—running, posing alertly with parents or other adult wolves, eating (regurgitated food only, and that not visible), howling, patrolling, and snoozing as a seasonal round turns green meadows to snowy landscapes. In a notably perfunctory insertion squeezed onto the final spread, a wildlife biologist from the American Museum of Natural History introduces himself and describes his research work—all with animals other than wolves. Budding naturalists should have no trouble running down more nourishing fare, from Seymour Simon’s Wolves (1993) to Jonathan London’s Seasons of Little Wolf (illustrated by Jon Van Zyle, 2014) and on. Baby Dolphin’s First Swim follows the same formula even down to profiling exactly the same wildlife biologist.

A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles.

RUN, SEA TURTLE, RUN

A HATCHLING'S JOURNEY

The most fascinating part of this simple photo essay is the last statement made by the narrator, a baby leatherback sea turtle: “Someday I will come back to this same beach. I will lay eggs of my own.”

Although further explained in the backmatter (written for adults), this promise omits the fact that these turtles often travel 10,000 miles per year. As the main audience of this engaging description of leatherback sea turtles is very young children, and the book has a specific focus on the first days of life, the author sticks to a few details about the physical activities undertaken by the hatchling as she makes her way from the buried nest on a beach to the nearby sea. Readers might want to know where this beach is and where these turtles can be found, information not provided beyond the general statement that “They live in all of the world’s oceans.” This is not strictly true, as they are not found in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. These quibbles aside, the easy-to-read text in clear type on blue backgrounds combines with Feuillet’s large photographs (often close-ups) to give readers a step-by-step account of the new turtle’s emergence from the egg to the top of the nest, across the beach, to the water: “WATCH ME RUN!”

An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles. (further information, further reading) (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7812-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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