WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING LARVAE

A GUIDE FOR INSECT PARENTS (AND CURIOUS KIDS)

From the Expecting Animal Babies series

A spoof on the popular parenting books, this answers the burning questions of insect parents-to-be and is chock full of fascinating (and sometimes disgusting) facts that are sure to grab human readers’ interest. From where to lay the eggs and how many there will be, to what the larvae will eat, what will eat them and how they will stay safe, this covers it all for butterflies, bees, moths, flies, beetles and mosquitoes. Folding in facts comes easily to Heos, for whom this is her first picture book. She manages to pack in explanations of survival, the food chain, camouflage, disguise and metamorphosis. There’s even a little history lesson involving beetles and book glue. Throughout, the tongue-in-cheek humor will keep readers engaged, while the facts and vocabulary will please educators. What Jorisch’s brilliantly colored insects lack in realism, they more than make up for in personality. The anthropomorphized bugs add to the tongue-in-cheek parody and also provide some great mnemonics for remembering the information presented. Backmatter includes a glossary, selected bibliography and a list of resources for further reading. Lumping together the many insects whose life cycles include the larval stage makes this more of an overview/introduction rather than a resource, but it is a humorous one certain to entertain and maybe even spark some interest. (Informational picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5858-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

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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Another uproarious romp that explores what it is to be good as well as do good.

THE BAD GUYS IN MISSION UNPLUCKABLE

From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 2

The foursome of reformed villains returns with a new mission and new team member in a continued effort to repair their reputations in Blabey's (The Bad Guys, 2017) rollicking sequel.

This second installment opens with our would-be heroes, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Piranha, fresh from their bold liberation of the local pound, finding that the media is not spinning in their favor. Accused of terrorizing rather than rescuing, the group (at least Mr. Wolf) refuses to admit defeat—"We're the GOOD GUYS here!"—and begins planning a new mission to free innocent chickens from their deplorable confinement in the Sunnyside Chicken Farm. But if the team can't work together—something all the more difficult with the team a little panicked by the addition of Legs (a friendly, tech-genius tarantula) and one of the group suspiciously excited to greet the chickens—a rescue mission may be all but impossible. Despite some language devaluing of mental diversity (“freak out,” “loco,” etc.) that may turn some readers off, Blabey once again deploys moral ambiguity to overall success, challenging fear as a justification for prejudice and mistakes as reasons to give up. The narrative has lost no comic momentum from first to second book, juxtaposing classic riffs on Mission Impossible and new visual gags unique to these delightfully wry characters.

Another uproarious romp that explores what it is to be good as well as do good. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91241-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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