An additional choice for young readers interested in animal traits.



When King Lion holds a race to honor the fastest animal, Cheetah easily wins the title.

Cheetah runs 75 miles per hour in the 100-yard dash, but all the other animals clamor to show their own great speeds in different kinds of contests. Large and small, land and sea animals, birds and beasts, reptiles and insects: They tell their king the facts about their abilities. Husky says: “I am the fastest over long distances.” Ostrich wants all participants to “run on two legs to be fair to everyone.” A sea turtle thinks that the race should be held in the water, an idea heartily endorsed by a black marlin. A majestic peregrine falcon insists on the sky because these birds fly at 240 miles per hour, but a small free-tailed bat pipes up and says that the race “should be at night!” What’s a wise ruler to do? The king creates “an Olympics” with multiple events. Realistic illustrations in a somewhat dull palette of browns, blues, and greens bring animals together (not always to scale) in a dusty savanna landscape. The folkloric telling contrasts with the factual speeds of the animals included in the text. Educational activities in the backmatter, some beyond the ability of the intended readers of the main text, focus on mathematical and scientific comparisons. A Spanish-language edition publishes simultaneously in paperback only.

An additional choice for young readers interested in animal traits. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-60718-739-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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Thin on both fun and facts.


From the What's Wrong? series

An invitation to pick out anachronistic (or downright daffy) details in nine Mesozoic scenes.

Spotting the odd hat or potted plant, roller skates, skis, and other zingers that Solis slips into his moderately crowded cartoon scenes won’t be much of a challenge for most young dinophiles, as there are only five per spread, two of which are virtually pointed out with heavy hints delivered by a pair of human tour guides, and there is a visual key at the end. Perhaps to compensate for setting the bar so low, the author and illustrator repeatedly don’t play fair—designating the rainbow-crested Guaibasaurus specimen bogus, for instance, for the weak reason that “scientists don’t think [its crest] was rainbow colored,” and slipping a chicken and a duck in among such similarly feathered predecessors as Bambiraptor, which is even described as “look[ing] like a purple duck or chicken.” Just to muddy the waters a bit more, each picture also includes an unlikely element that is actually correct (“Omeisaurus had a neck which was four times longer than its body”), and the introductory comments include a claim that “Earth was a scorching hot, dry desert when dinosaurs first appeared,” which is both overly general about our planet’s land masses and ignores the oceans. One of the tour guides presents Asian and the other white.

Thin on both fun and facts. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-477-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: QEB Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Confusing topical drift muddles this quick but creditable dip into Newtonian physics.



A first introduction to what matter is—and isn’t.

Setting off on a potentially confusing tangent at the outset, Diehn opens with a discourse on how we use the word “matter” in common speech—as in “What’s the matter?” or “That doesn’t matter.” Following a perfunctory segue she then launches into her actual subject with a simple but not simplistic definition (“Matter is anything that takes up space and can be weighed”). She continues with easy-to-follow explanations of how matter (even air) can be weighed, how it comes in the states of solid, liquid, gas, and plasma, and finally how light is not matter but something else. Companion volumes on Energy, Forces, and Waves offer overviews that are likewise lucid, albeit similarly muddied by strained and, in the end, irrelevant word usages. All four surveys include questions and simple activities for readers. Shululu illustrates all four with a cast of wide-eyed, cherry-nosed figures of varying skin colors and their floppy-eared dog in active poses and, usually, outdoor settings.

Confusing topical drift muddles this quick but creditable dip into Newtonian physics. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61930-642-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nomad Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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