Share with very young children to nourish their senses of wonder.

READ REVIEW

WARBLER WAVE

The Sayres team up to celebrate warbler migration.

“In spring, as you nightly nap, / warblers flap / over oceans, lakes, / and mountains.” Striking photographs from both Sayres and a lyrical text introduce a favorite spectacle of the birding world. Each spring, these tiny birds travel north, some as far as Canada, returning to wintering grounds in the southeastern U.S. and Central and South America in fall. Touching lightly on the hazards the birds might encounter, the text emphasizes their beauty, variety, and behavior along the way. “Then bedraggled, they drop. / A refueling stop. / They must find food / or die.” The poem is broken up into words and short phrases set directly in contrasting type on the clearly reproduced images, which range from broad landscapes to impressive close-ups, some filling a page or a spread, others in a neatly arranged group. Four pages of expository backmatter for more able readers generally cover the wheres, whys, and hows of migration and attracting these travelers to your own garden. As there is so much information, some birding readers may find it surprising that the general term “warbler” is used throughout, even in the backmatter, although the book is specifically about New World wood warblers. Frustratingly for those who approach their world with a classifying mind, the photos have no labels, although identifications will be available on April Pulley Sayre’s website.

Share with very young children to nourish their senses of wonder. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4829-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse.

BIGGER WORDS FOR LITTLE GENIUSES

More labial lollipops for logomanes and sesquipedalian proto-savants.

The creators of Big Words for Little Geniuses (2017) and Cuddly Critters for Little Geniuses (2018) follow up with another ABC of extravagant expressions. It begins with “ailurophile” (“How furry sweet!” Puns, yet), ends with “zoanthropy,” and in between highlights “bioluminescent,” growls at a grouchy “gnashnab,” and collects a “knickknackatory” of like locutions. A list of 14 additional words is appended in a second, partial alphabet. Each entry comes with a phonetic version, a one- or two-sentence verbal definition, and, from Pan, a visual one with a big letter and very simple, broadly brushed figures. Lending an ear to aural pleasures, the authors borrow from German to include “fünfundfünfzig” in the main list and add a separate list of a dozen more words at the end likewise deemed sheer fun to say. Will any of these rare, generally polysyllabic leviathans find their way into idiolects or casual conversations? Unlikely, alas—but sounding them out and realizing that even the silliest have at least putative meanings sheds liminal light on language’s glittering word hoards.

Only gnashnabs would cavil at this eximious display of lexicographical largesse. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-53445-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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