A novel approach that may seem cluttered at times but packs in plenty of facts, history and interesting tidbits and is told...

SOPHIE SCOTT GOES SOUTH

A fictionalized personal narrative, based on the author’s own journey, that chronicles a little girl’s expedition to Antarctica.

Sophie’s father is the captain of the Aurora Australis, an icebreaker that travels to Mawson Station to deliver supplies and transport scientists and other researchers. On this last trip before winter makes the sea impassable, 9-year-old Sophie is invited along. In diary format, she explores the giant red ship and keeps a sharp eye out for penguins, seals, whales and, of course, icebergs. After 13 days, the Aurora Australis finally reaches its destination. At the research station, Sophie follows ropes to different buildings (helpful during the blizzard she gets caught in!) and learns how to live on Antarctica. After a few days, she makes the return trip back home. Interspersed with Lester’s thin line drawings of Sophie and the crew are actual photographs of the icebreaker and its surroundings. Lester also includes illustrations from Kids Antarctic Art, a traveling exhibition where students from around the world share their artistic interpretations of this cold, icy continent.

A novel approach that may seem cluttered at times but packs in plenty of facts, history and interesting tidbits and is told from a welcome, fresh perspective. (maps, glossary) (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-544-08895-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably...

LOST AND FOUND

A lad finds a penguin on his doorstep and resolutely sets out to return it in this briefly told import. 

Eventually, he ends up rowing it all the way back to Antarctica, braving waves and storms, filling in the time by telling it stories. But then, feeling lonely after he drops his silent charge off, he belatedly realizes that it was probably lonely too, and turns back to find it. Seeing Jeffers’s small, distant figures in wide, simply brushed land- and sea-scapes, young viewers will probably cotton to the penguin’s feelings before the boy himself does—but all’s well that ends well, and the reunited companions are last seen adrift together in the wide blue sea. 

Readers who (inexplicably) find David Lawrence’s Pickle and Penguin (2004) just too weird may settle in more comfortably with this—slightly—less offbeat friendship tale. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-399-24503-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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