A solid worker for any library collection, but this wouldn’t make it as the queen

BEES

From the What on Earth? series

A green-themed instructive read, this will have nature enthusiasts buzzing.

The cover tagline is “Explore, create, and investigate!” and that’s what young environmentalists may be influenced to do after working with this hybrid biology-STEM-craft-trivia offering. It combines educational tips with bee-themed activities that vary from scientific experiments (one encourages kids to observe what colors bees like best) to such crafts as “Make a Fuzzy Bumble Bee.” Quigley attempts to capture everything bee-related in this offering, and that all-in approach may overwhelm casual readers. Bee-themed poetry and Thai honeybee folklore intermingle with housing suggestions for bumblebees and recipes for seed bombs. Librarians and educators may find the book most inspiring, as swarms of bee-themed lesson plans and bulletin boards for the pre-K crowd fly off the page. An index and glossary make up the backmatter, but a pronunciation guide and list of further readings and citations would have sweetened the text. Morgan’s digital illustrations are bright and attractive, but readers may wish there were labels identifying specific flower names and geographic locations. For example, the map of “Bees Around the World” is more of a geographic suggestion that actual cartography. Morgan’s attempts to hint at diversity among the human characters are fair but limited—in a book this colorful, having only two skin tones seems uninspired.

A solid worker for any library collection, but this wouldn’t make it as the queen . (Nonfiction. 5-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68297-149-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: QEB Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF PLANET EARTH

Flaps, pull tabs, and pop-ups large and small enhance views of our planet’s inside, outside, atmosphere, biosphere, and geophysics.

It’s a hefty, high-speed tour through Earth’s features, climates, and natural resources, with compressed surveys of special topics on multileveled flaps and a spread on the history of life that is extended by a double-foldout wing. But even when teeming with small images of land forms, wildlife, or diverse groups of children and adults, Balicevic’s bright cartoon illustrations look relatively uncrowded. Although the quality of the paper engineering is uneven, the special effects add dramatic set pieces: Readers need to hold in place a humongous column of cumulonimbus clouds for it to reach its full extension; a volcano erupts in a gratifyingly large scale; and, on the plate-tectonics spread, a pull tab gives readers the opportunity to run the Indian Plate into the Eurasian one and see the Himalayas bulge up. A final spread showing resources, mostly renewable ones, being tapped ends with an appeal to protect “our only home.” All in all, it’s a likely alternative to Dougal Jerram’s Utterly Amazing Earth, illustrated by Dan Crisp and Molly Lattin (2017), being broader in scope and a bit more generous in its level of detail.

It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 979-1-02760-562-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity

THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO

When the war comes to Syria, many flee, but Alaa stays in his beloved city, Aleppo, where he continues to work as an ambulance driver and helps the wounded to safety.

Day after day, he misses his family and friends who have left, wondering where they are and how they are doing. His neighborhood empties—except for cats! However, these cats are affected by the conflict too; they’re left behind with shelters destroyed and food and water stringently limited. Alaa, who has a big heart, starts taking care of them using the little money he has. The love between man and cats multiplies, and many people from around the world step up to help. Soon, the cats of Aleppo get a pleasant shelter set in a courtyard. However, Alaa does not stop there and goes on to help other animals and more people, spreading joy, love, and hope. Based on a true story, this picture book is distinctive for its engaging narrative and impeccable illustrations. It is also enriched with notes from Alaa himself (the real one) as well as the authors and illustrator. The often-dramatic images offer a glimpse of the city prior to the conflict and a window on the real people who experience war and try to survive and help others around them.

A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity . (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more