Although the text is awkward, savvy adults can use the whole package to initiate conversations.

WHAT'S THIS TAIL SAYING?

Tails communicate volumes in these encounters among many animals.

Animal interlocutors include a fox and a skunk, a beaver family, courting peacocks, a skink and a raccoon, and more. In every recto-verso sequence one animal responds with a tail action to another animal, with an explanation on the following page. The text is fairly simple and repetitive in format, blending prose and simplistic, rhyming phrases. A small monkey called a marmoset from Brazil (the location is mentioned only in the extensive backmatter) attempts to steal an egg from a nest. The text reads: “An egg thief is startled by a squawking mother bird. Fluff Puff. What’s the marmoset’s tail saying?” After the page turn, the text reads: “I had a fright! Hold me tight! The family cuddles and comforts the little one.” In the first picture, the baby marmoset’s tail expands to show its terror as the bird attacks it to save its young. When adult marmosets rescue their baby, the tails all go back to normal. The heavily detailed paintings realistically depict the animals and their environments, with meticulously rendered flora. A backmatter section for children includes animal descriptions (with small color photos) written at a higher reading level than the main text, and a separate one for caregivers includes an author’s note, tips for use, and related STEM and social-emotional–development activities.

Although the text is awkward, savvy adults can use the whole package to initiate conversations. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-58469-662-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dawn Publications

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles.

RUN, SEA TURTLE, RUN

A HATCHLING'S JOURNEY

The most fascinating part of this simple photo essay is the last statement made by the narrator, a baby leatherback sea turtle: “Someday I will come back to this same beach. I will lay eggs of my own.”

Although further explained in the backmatter (written for adults), this promise omits the fact that these turtles often travel 10,000 miles per year. As the main audience of this engaging description of leatherback sea turtles is very young children, and the book has a specific focus on the first days of life, the author sticks to a few details about the physical activities undertaken by the hatchling as she makes her way from the buried nest on a beach to the nearby sea. Readers might want to know where this beach is and where these turtles can be found, information not provided beyond the general statement that “They live in all of the world’s oceans.” This is not strictly true, as they are not found in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. These quibbles aside, the easy-to-read text in clear type on blue backgrounds combines with Feuillet’s large photographs (often close-ups) to give readers a step-by-step account of the new turtle’s emergence from the egg to the top of the nest, across the beach, to the water: “WATCH ME RUN!”

An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles. (further information, further reading) (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7812-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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An attractive (in both senses) early foray into the wild world.

ANIMALS

From the Magnetology series

Budding naturalists can place 45 animals with magnetic backings on any of five double-page habitats.

Visible through a large hole cut into the front cover, the animals come out of a reusable storage pocket inside and are both identified and arranged into related groups at the back. In between, readers find polar, savanna, coral-reef, temperate-forest, and rainforest scenes with several creatures in view. Brief observations that serve as prompts (“Look! A wild boar is taking her young to look for mushrooms”) offer plenty of space to arrange and rearrange the magnetized additions. The overall look is bright and benign. Aside from a mention that forest animals eat “berries, bugs, and small creatures” and one glimpse of a friendly-looking cheetah loping unthreateningly after an antelope, there is no reference to predation anywhere, and all of Tisserand’s wildlife, even birds and fish, are smiling. They are, however, small enough to make the choke-hazard warning on the back cover cogent. Though a good shake may well send them flying, the creatures are magnetic enough to stay in place when the book is held up or laid on a tilted surface. They will stick to a refrigerator too, though not firmly enough to hold anything. There are no human figures in the art.

An attractive (in both senses) early foray into the wild world. (Novelty. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 979-1-02760-998-7

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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