ON A GOLD-BLOOMING DAY

FINDING FALL TREASURES

Colorful photographs and short, rhyming phrases extol the glories of autumn in the Northeastern and Midwestern sections of the United States.

“On a gold-blooming, // bee-zooming, / sun-dazzling day….” Each of those phrases is in a bold white font against a different vibrant photograph of, for instance, goldenrod, a bee on a purple coneflower, and an autumn landscape bright with red and orange maple leaves. These are followed by more eye-catching photographs accompanied by pairs of rhyming, two-word, noun-verb combinations (“Crickets chirp. / Butterflies slurp”). The clever poetry pattern repeats several times, with the final page—still in two words—summing up the many parts. Excellent backmatter elaborates—in sequential order—on the various phrases, adding rudimentary scientific explanations of, for example, fall animal behaviors, photosynthesis, thunderstorms, and why breezes chill a human being’s skin. The book offers older students the opportunity to learn about word usage and try their hand at writing poetry that uses the text’s format. People appear in two photographs—in the first, a dark-haired, light-skinned family of four revels in apple-picking; in the second, which includes the poem’s penultimate line, a brown-skinned child hugs a dog in the midst of a pile of fallen leaves. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sun-dazzling! (bibliography, glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72844-298-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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A good choice for a late fall storytime.

SNACK, SNOOZE, SKEDADDLE

HOW ANIMALS GET READY FOR WINTER

Animal behaviors change as they prepare to face the winter.

Migrate, hibernate, or tolerate. With smooth rhymes and jaunty illustrations, Salas and Gévry introduce three strategies animals use for coping with winter cold. The author’s long experience in imparting information to young readers is evident in her selection of familiar animals and in her presentation. Spread by spread she introduces her examples, preparing in fall and surviving in winter. She describes two types of migration: Hummingbirds and monarchs fly, and blue whales travel to the warmth of the south; earthworms burrow deeper into the earth. Without using technical words, she introduces four forms of hibernation—chipmunks nap and snack; bears mainly sleep; Northern wood frogs become an “icy pop,” frozen until spring; and normally solitary garter snakes snuggle together in huge masses. Those who can tolerate the winter still change behavior. Mice store food and travel in tunnels under the snow; moose grow a warmer kind of fur; the red fox dives into the snow to catch small mammals (like those mice); and humans put on warm clothes and play. The animals in the soft pastel illustrations are recognizable, more cuddly than realistic, and quite appealing; their habitats are stylized. The humans represent varied ethnicities. Each page includes two levels of text, and there’s further information in the extensive backmatter. Pair with Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees (2014).

A good choice for a late fall storytime. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2900-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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