Wonderfully odd and cleverly informative.

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THE QUEEN'S SHADOW

A STORY ABOUT HOW ANIMALS SEE

When a queen, looking severe in her ball gown, suddenly misses her shadow at her own ball, the visual capabilities of her guests are put to the test in this mystery infused with natural science.

The Royal Detective, a mantis shrimp, confronts each guest to determine which might have taken advantage of the chaos following a thunderclap and momentary loss of light to steal the shadow. Each—chameleon, shark, snake, goat, dragonfly, colossal squid, pigeon—has an alibi, however: His or her attention and sight were focused elsewhere during the moments in question. By the time two young (sea) urchins provide the amusing solution, readers will have encountered multiple definitions of sight. Double-page, digitally worked pen-and-ink illustrations offer a look at the scene from each guest’s perspective and provide visual explanations for unique ways of seeing. Areas of light and dark, perspectives from above and the side, washed-out and saturated color are used to reveal the scope and limits of specific types of sight. Inset text boxes provide descriptions of how sight works for each creature. The slightly formal prose and zany details and dialogue accentuate the silliness of the narrative. Backmatter includes an overview of the mechanics of sight in humans, more about each animal and a glossary; there is no resource list.

Wonderfully odd and cleverly informative. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-894786-60-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.

A TRUE HOME

From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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