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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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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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

A WHALE OF THE WILD

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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