Will provoke “content grunts” in nature lovers.

GROWING UP GORILLA

HOW A ZOO BABY BROUGHT HER FAMILY TOGETHER

Readers learn about gorillas in general and also how staff at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo managed two rare coups: getting a mother gorilla to bond with her rejected baby and incorporating baby Yola into the zoo’s existing gorilla family.

The layout, charts, and colorful photographs are enticing. A bright table of contents establishes six chapters, which hint of the story to come, starting at “Firstborn” and ending with “A Family at Last.” Nadiri, the 19-year-old gorilla who gives birth to Yola, was herself raised by humans in a sterile nursery, so it is no surprise to staff when Nadiri gives birth and walks away. Judy, Harmony, and other staff members have come to understand in the interim that “mothering is a learned behavior.” The text gives many examples of the ways that these dedicated people work to teach Nadiri mothering skills, including providing dolls to hug during pregnancy and tempting her with sweet treats to get her closer to her baby. Readers become familiar not only with Yola and Nadiri, but also with family members Akenji—an extroverted female—and Leo, a shy silverback male. Although slim and full of pictures, the book demands fairly able readers. There is a great deal of text—albeit with simple syntax—and many detailed explanations, not only of the changes in Nadiri’s family, but of several related topics.

Will provoke “content grunts” in nature lovers. (endnotes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-4240-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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A hopeful and helpful addition to any nature library.

FOLLOW THOSE ZEBRAS

SOLVING A MIGRATION MYSTERY

From the Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries series

Scientists solve the mystery of a disappearing zebra herd.

A herd of plains zebra regularly vanishes from the Chobe River flood plains in Namibia and Botswana during the dry season, but until Robin Naidoo and other scientists fitted some of these animals with GPS trackers, no one knew where they went or why. Markle (The Great Shark Rescue, 2019, etc.) ably describes the species, its habitat in the Serengeti Plain, the phenomenon of migration, the science research, and its surprising results: a “record-holding zebra migration” to the grasses in Botswana’s Nxai Pan National Park, which have extra nutrients for the mares and the foals they bear there. Her clear explanations are accompanied by well-chosen and informatively captioned photographs from a variety of sources. The lively design includes a striking zebra-coat background surrounding boxes with additional information and images. Maps help American readers locate this migration in southern Africa. One that includes the tracked migration routes of eight females demonstrates the astonishing directness of the 155-mile journey undertaken by seven (the meandering route taken by the eighth is unexplained). The author concludes with concerns about the possible effects of the changing climate and how conservation groups are planning to help the zebras so that they can continue to travel unimpeded and find water on their way.

A hopeful and helpful addition to any nature library. (author’s note, fast facts, glossary, source notes, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-3837-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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