In spite of textual shortcomings, this book provides a worthy introduction to an awe-inspiring geographic area that will be...



Rothman’s detailed, realistic full-bleed acrylic paintings dominate this survey of animal and plant life in the vast area of boreal forest that extends from the eastern Great Lakes across the northeastern U.S. into Quebec.

The book is divided into five sections describing the varying habitats of this territory at different times of the day. The paintings provide a minutely observed and scientifically accurate view of the widely varying ecosystems and habitats of both familiar and less well-known species: fish including longnose gar, walleye, and bullhead; mammals including moose, bobcat, star-nosed mole, porcupine, and flying squirrel; birds including owl, raven, and grouse; and trees and plants such as the pitcher plant. The text is composed of couplets and quatrains of occasionally awkward rhyming verse, which sometimes disconcertingly describes animals and events not pictured. Small italicized headings helpfully identify the species featured on each page, although a larger, Roman typeface would have aided legibility, and a straightforward prose narrative would better complement the detailed scientific illustrations.

In spite of textual shortcomings, this book provides a worthy introduction to an awe-inspiring geographic area that will be unfamiliar to many and may encourage some to get outside and enjoy the woods. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-56846-275-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends


From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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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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