The delightfully understated illustrations expand the appeal of this poetry collection, creating a cohesive canine community.

BARK IN THE PARK!

POEMS FOR DOG LOVERS

Dozens of dogs and their owners meet and greet one another in this poetry collection that includes one poem for each of 38 different dog breeds.

The canine subjects range from tiny lap dogs to popular choices for family pets as well as working dogs such as a German shepherd serving as a police dog. There are no examples of dogs aiding people with disabilities. The rhyming poems range from two to four lines, describing characteristics of each breed or offering some amusing commentary on typical behavior or reputation. The poems’ subjects alternate between male and female dogs, thoughtfully including females for some of the larger breeds. Most of the poems are humorous and cleverly rhymed, with a few that must be read carefully to understand the wordplay or unusual rhyming word pairs. Charming illustrations in watercolor and colored pencil include people of many ages and ethnicities as well as a pair of mischievous squirrels who appear throughout. Another visual connecting device is provided by a little girl in a pink dress and her dad, both with light skin and dark hair, who are seen on every spread, enjoying a day out together and interacting with the dogs in various ways. These two return home to conclude the collection with a poem about being friends with all sorts of dogs, including mutts.

The delightfully understated illustrations expand the appeal of this poetry collection, creating a cohesive canine community. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-11839-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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A good choice for a late fall storytime.

SNACK, SNOOZE, SKEDADDLE

HOW ANIMALS GET READY FOR WINTER

Animal behaviors change as they prepare to face the winter.

Migrate, hibernate, or tolerate. With smooth rhymes and jaunty illustrations, Salas and Gévry introduce three strategies animals use for coping with winter cold. The author’s long experience in imparting information to young readers is evident in her selection of familiar animals and in her presentation. Spread by spread she introduces her examples, preparing in fall and surviving in winter. She describes two types of migration: Hummingbirds and monarchs fly, and blue whales travel to the warmth of the south; earthworms burrow deeper into the earth. Without using technical words, she introduces four forms of hibernation—chipmunks nap and snack; bears mainly sleep; Northern wood frogs become an “icy pop,” frozen until spring; and normally solitary garter snakes snuggle together in huge masses. Those who can tolerate the winter still change behavior. Mice store food and travel in tunnels under the snow; moose grow a warmer kind of fur; the red fox dives into the snow to catch small mammals (like those mice); and humans put on warm clothes and play. The animals in the soft pastel illustrations are recognizable, more cuddly than realistic, and quite appealing; their habitats are stylized. The humans represent varied ethnicities. Each page includes two levels of text, and there’s further information in the extensive backmatter. Pair with Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees (2014).

A good choice for a late fall storytime. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2900-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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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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