Like life, grab this book with both paws!



Important emotional lessons from the animal world.

Have you ever marveled at two dogs first meeting and seeming to make friends so easily? Or perhaps you feel like a pigeon amid a flock of other birds—just a part of the crowd? Well, the dogs recognize the importance of healthy bonds, and each pigeon is unique! Animals interact and adapt in such marvelous ways; they can be inspirations to humans. With proclamations and affirmations directed to readers (“dear young humans”), the book features chapters on individuality, inner confidence, a supportive pack, kindness, bravery, resilience, and happiness. Sorosiak compares facts about certain species and true stories of particular animals to common human challenges involving school, art, and friendship. She includes various perspectives and emphasizes that everyone is different—and that’s OK. For instance, a crow can’t run fast like an ostrich or hover like a hummingbird, but it can solve complex puzzles and remember human faces for years, and that’s really impressive! Playful typography intermixes with Walker’s charming illustrations to sustain visual appeal. Taken together, this is a great read for animal lovers (full of interesting information) or any young reader needing a smile (images of pandas somersaulting in the snow are sure to elicit grins) and some encouragement through the trials of life. Humans depicted with their animal friends are racially diverse.

Like life, grab this book with both paws! (author’s note, index of animals) (Nonfiction. 8-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-80218-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: David Fickling/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.


Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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