Using a variety of poetic forms and devices, Harley follows monarch butterflies through a cycle of development and migration. Sandwiched between an introduction and a closing section of comments on each poem, the 18 entries range from a ruminative sonnet on having taste receptors on one’s feet (“If we would let our toes seek what we eat, / what smorgasbord would greet our eager feet?”) to a haiku observation that “there are no borders / for the migrating monarchs. / It is all one land.” Along with various rhyme schemes, Harley constructs several verses in which the first letters in each line spell out either the alphabet or the title: “Caterpillar” begins, “Comma-size / And worldly wise, / The tiny caterpillar arrives / Eager to feed. . . . ” The painted illustrations are attractive—it’s hard to portray monarchs otherwise—and accurate. Young poets and naturalists should both be drawn to this. (Poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59078-558-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2008

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This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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Mercy Watson, beloved porcine wonder, meets Francine Poulet, “the best animal control officer in the history of the world.” When Mercy discovers freshly planted pansies next door, what can she do but eat them? Never mind that the pansies belong to the next-door neighbors, pig-loving Baby and her pig-hating sister, Eugenia. When the furious Eugenia sees the incriminating pansy petals on Mercy’s chin, her anger gets the best of her and she reports Mercy to Animal Control. The officer, beak-nosed Poulet, is energized by the challenge of adding a new animal to her life capture list. DiCamillo’s comic timing coupled with Van Dusen’s familiar, over-the-top gouache depictions of the emotional Mercy and her caring, buttered-toast-bearing “parents” make this a welcome addition to the popular series. Fifteen very short action-packed chapters make this a fine step up for readers ready for a slightly more challenging read than Henry and Mudge. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3265-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2008

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