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All your kitty questions answered, beautifully.

Whether readers are owned by a cat or not, they are probably as curious about them as they are about what’s in that box.

Following in the format (and what took so long to get to cats?) of her previous titles, Scurry! The Truth About Spiders (2021), Woof! The Truth About Dogs (2021), and Ribbit! The Truth About Frogs (2022), Whipple addresses questions about our feline friends. Each double-page spread focuses on a question about cats or cat behavior: “What good are whiskers?” “Why do cats puff their tails?” “How do cats show they care?” Arresting and attractive (and sometimes funny) full-bleed and spot photos provide the backdrop for the answers to each question. Each spread also includes a cartoon kitty illustration with a related factoid (and usually a cat pun) in the “Kitty Corner.” Young readers will learn about cat communication, a few common breed names, Hemingway’s polydactyl cats, and the different patterns of feline fur. At the close, there is a behavioral experiment (are cats left- or right-pawed?), a short glossary, and a few websites to search for further information. The only thing missing is a sources list. Feline fans drawn in by the ultra-close-up kitty on the cover will not be disappointed.

All your kitty questions answered, beautifully. (Nonfiction. 4-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4788-7957-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Reycraft Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

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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 Find Momo series , Vol. 7

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute.

Readers bid farewell to a beloved canine character.

Momo is—or was—an adorable and very photogenic border collie owned by author Knapp. The many readers who loved him in the previous half-dozen books are in for a shock with this one. “Momo had died” is the stark reality—and there are no photographs of him here. Instead, Momo has been replaced by a flat cartoonish pastiche with strange, staring round white eyes, inserted into some of Knapp’s photography (which remains appealing, insofar as it can be discerned under the mixed media). Previous books contained few or no words. Unfortunately, virtuosity behind a lens does not guarantee mastery of verse. The art here is accompanied by words that sometimes rhyme but never find a workable or predictable rhythm (“We’d fetch and we’d catch, / we’d run and we’d jump. Every day we found new / games to play”). It’s a pity, because the subject—a pet’s death—is an important one to address with children. Of course, Momo isn’t gone; he can still be found “everywhere” in memories. But alas, he can be found here only in the crude depictions of the darling dog so well known from the earlier books.

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781683693864

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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