Kids will make tracks to this one—and likely step up for repeat visits.

READ REVIEW

WHOSE FOOTPRINT IS THAT?

Who goes there?

Readers must guess which creatures left their distinctive tracks behind in this fact-filled book. On the verso page of each spread, the question reads, “Whose footprint is that?” and a clue to the maker of the print appears with a snippet of its anatomy—e.g., snout, ears, tail, feather, even, in one case, a section of a body. The recto page displays the print or prints with a sentence or two explaining how the tracks were produced. A page turn yields another spread and the answer: a portrait of the mystery animal and some interesting facts about its feet. A very ancient track maker is included, too. A tantalizing puzzle challenges kids at the end: “Can an animal change its footprints?” Adult readers would do well to let a few moments elapse while children ponder responses before they turn the page and reveal the answer—and another brainteaser. This charmer will hold young children’s interest and will succeed one-on-one or as a group read-aloud. It will help develop vocabulary as youngsters learn new words including “wallaroo” and “slithering.” The gouache illustrations are appealing. Tracks are large enough to be seen well (and, possibly, traced with little fingers), and their makers are portrayed along with glimpses into their habitats, with furry, feathered, and scaly charms charmingly intact.

Kids will make tracks to this one—and likely step up for repeat visits. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58089-834-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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