Definitely deserves a spot, even on a well-stocked panda shelf.

BEI BEI GOES HOME

A PANDA STORY

In the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., a panda cub grows up.

Bardoe documents the early life of Bei Bei, one of the National Zoo’s most recent panda cubs, from a tiny ultrasound shadow in his mother’s womb to a bamboo grove in a Conservation and Research Center in Sichuan, China. Liberally illustrated with Smithsonian Institution images, this photobiography takes a close-up, intimate look at a panda in captivity. Like pandas in zoos all over the world, those born in Washington are officially Chinese; at the age of 4, they return to China to be part of an effort to promote panda recovery in the wild there. In the meantime, these charismatic animals draw flocks of visitors, in person and online. Bardoe’s thoughtfully crafted presentation chronicles important events in Bei Bei’s first four years with a headline and one to two paragraphs of text alongside a column of panda facts. Opposite each page of text is a page of photos (or, sometimes, a single, full-bleed image) with informative captions. The straightforward text is sprinkled with images as well. The pictures and information are well chosen for child appeal. The result is a title that will probably have considerable charm even to nonreaders. Final pages discuss pandas in the wild, their attraction for humans, and ways readers can help.

Definitely deserves a spot, even on a well-stocked panda shelf. (Nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1763-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick Entertainment

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF PLANET EARTH

Flaps, pull tabs, and pop-ups large and small enhance views of our planet’s inside, outside, atmosphere, biosphere, and geophysics.

It’s a hefty, high-speed tour through Earth’s features, climates, and natural resources, with compressed surveys of special topics on multileveled flaps and a spread on the history of life that is extended by a double-foldout wing. But even when teeming with small images of land forms, wildlife, or diverse groups of children and adults, Balicevic’s bright cartoon illustrations look relatively uncrowded. Although the quality of the paper engineering is uneven, the special effects add dramatic set pieces: Readers need to hold in place a humongous column of cumulonimbus clouds for it to reach its full extension; a volcano erupts in a gratifyingly large scale; and, on the plate-tectonics spread, a pull tab gives readers the opportunity to run the Indian Plate into the Eurasian one and see the Himalayas bulge up. A final spread showing resources, mostly renewable ones, being tapped ends with an appeal to protect “our only home.” All in all, it’s a likely alternative to Dougal Jerram’s Utterly Amazing Earth, illustrated by Dan Crisp and Molly Lattin (2017), being broader in scope and a bit more generous in its level of detail.

It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 979-1-02760-562-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity

THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO

When the war comes to Syria, many flee, but Alaa stays in his beloved city, Aleppo, where he continues to work as an ambulance driver and helps the wounded to safety.

Day after day, he misses his family and friends who have left, wondering where they are and how they are doing. His neighborhood empties—except for cats! However, these cats are affected by the conflict too; they’re left behind with shelters destroyed and food and water stringently limited. Alaa, who has a big heart, starts taking care of them using the little money he has. The love between man and cats multiplies, and many people from around the world step up to help. Soon, the cats of Aleppo get a pleasant shelter set in a courtyard. However, Alaa does not stop there and goes on to help other animals and more people, spreading joy, love, and hope. Based on a true story, this picture book is distinctive for its engaging narrative and impeccable illustrations. It is also enriched with notes from Alaa himself (the real one) as well as the authors and illustrator. The often-dramatic images offer a glimpse of the city prior to the conflict and a window on the real people who experience war and try to survive and help others around them.

A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity . (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more