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A spirited introduction to a fascinating rescue.

Abler tells of 2002 rescue and relocation of an orphaned orca in the Pacific Northwest, focusing on the efforts of two Canadian scientists for narrative effect.

The orphaned orca, called Springer, was first noticed swimming alone by a ferry dock near Seattle. She became a cause célèbre with the public, and scientists and government officials from the U.S. and Canada worked together to save Springer. She was captured, nursed back to health, and then transported back to Canada to successfully rejoin her original pod. The fairly lengthy text details all the complex steps and dramatic circumstances of Springer’s rescue and rehabilitation as well as her gradual acceptance and integration with members of her orca family. A heartwarming conclusion on the final page of the story introduces Springer’s own calf, named Spirit. Vibrant illustrations with broad blue expanses of sea and sky include a wide variety of perspectives and intriguing views of orcas swimming and breaching. The attractive cover illustration shows Springer breaching to the right, leading readers straight into the book. Human characters are diverse, including First Nations people who participated in Springer’s rescue. Additional material included as backmatter provides more specifics about the event, additional facts on orcas and their pods, a map of the rescue journey, and ways to improve the environment for orcas.

A spirited introduction to a fascinating rescue. (bibliography, resources) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63217-212-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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1001 BEES

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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From the What if You Had . . .? series

Another playful imagination-stretcher.

Markle invites children to picture themselves living in the homes of 11 wild animals.

As in previous entries in the series, McWilliam’s illustrations of a diverse cast of young people fancifully imitating wild creatures are paired with close-up photos of each animal in a like natural setting. The left side of one spread includes a photo of a black bear nestling in a cozy winter den, while the right side features an image of a human one cuddled up with a bear. On another spread, opposite a photo of honeybees tending to newly hatched offspring, a human “larva” lounges at ease in a honeycomb cell, game controller in hand, as insect attendants dish up goodies. A child with an eye patch reclines on an orb weaver spider’s web, while another wearing a head scarf constructs a castle in a subterranean chamber with help from mound-building termites. Markle adds simple remarks about each type of den, nest, or burrow and basic facts about its typical residents, then closes with a reassuring reminder to readers that they don’t have to live as animals do, because they will “always live where people live.” A select gallery of traditional homes, from igloo and yurt to mudhif, follows a final view of the young cast waving from a variety of differently styled windows.

Another playful imagination-stretcher. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781339049052

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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