THE SPROG OWNER’S MANUAL

(OR HOW KIDS WORK)

Filling the gap between her Mommy Laid an Egg! Or, Where Do Babies Come From? (1993) and Hair In Funny Places: A Book About Puberty (2000), Cole offers a frank, if not quite strictly scientific, anatomical guide to young “Sprogs” of both the good (female) and the bad (male) persuasions. Facing pages feature labeled cutaway views of each type. For “Fuel Processing,” for instance, viewers have the option of either following a banana from a good sprog’s mouth, through her stomach and intestines and out to the toilet, or tracking several noxious items into a lad’s whirling internal blender, through a “Wormery (worms convert sludge into slime to be pumped around body)” and thence out his “Bin bag’s” stringy exit. Cole concludes her tour of each body system in turn with general maintenance advice, and closes with cogent “Helpful Hints for Future Owners,” like “Remember a sprog is for ever . . . not just for Christmas!” Budding sprogs of either variety will pore delightedly over the lurid, yucky-colored cartoon illustrations. Required reading for would-be parents of any age. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-09-944765-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Red Fox/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2006

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JUDY MOODY SAVES THE WORLD!

McDonald’s irrepressible third-grader (Judy Moody Gets Famous, 2001, etc.) takes a few false steps before hitting full stride. This time, not only has her genius little brother Stink submitted a competing entry in the Crazy Strips Band-Aid design contest, but in the wake of her science teacher’s heads-up about rainforest destruction and endangered animals, she sees every member of her family using rainforest products. It’s all more than enough to put her in a Mood, which gets her in trouble at home for letting Stink’s pet toad, Toady, go free, and at school for surreptitiously collecting all the pencils (made from rainforest cedar) in class. And to top it off, Stink’s Crazy Strips entry wins a prize, while she gets . . . a certificate. Chronicled amusingly in Reynolds’s frequent ink-and-tea drawings, Judy goes from pillar to post—but she justifies the pencil caper convincingly enough to spark a bottle drive that nets her and her classmates not only a hundred seedling trees for Costa Rica, but the coveted school Giraffe Award (given to those who stick their necks out), along with T-shirts and ice cream coupons. Judy’s growing corps of fans will crow “Rare!” right along with her. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7636-1446-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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WATCH OUT FOR SHARKS!

For shark fanciers, a look at a Los Angeles Natural History Museum exhibit, Sharks: Fact and Fantasy. Now touring the country, it includes models of large and small sharks, many of them swimming in simulated undersea settings. The text follows a group of young museum-goers as they examine shark teeth, fossil sharks, sharks in art, and a living shark embryo; shark anatomy, special adaptations, types of sharks, and some shark facts are also included. Photos are clear, colorful and engaging. Not comprehensive, but an attractive added purchase. Pronunciation guide; additional reading; index. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-395-57560-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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