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WHOSE POOP IS THAT?

A primer on poop and a guessing game, especially for those just beyond toilet training.

Owl pellets, coprolites, bird droppings, and honking big turds—whose waste is that?

Lunde uses a question-and-answer format to show how animal droppings vary and how they relate to animals’ diets. This picture book may seem slight, covering only seven animals (fox, African elephant, panda, owl, Galápagos tortoise, gull, and the extinct ground sloth), but it reflects a careful choice of examples demonstrating the wide variety of animal diets, eating styles, and defecation habits. Four pages are devoted to each animal. The first double-page spread shows a series of footprints and a mysterious object, asks the title question (or a variant), and describes the object. The page turn reveals the animal, pictured in its habitat. A short paragraph tells why the poop contains what readers see. Feces fans can find further information in two pages of backmatter, “The Scoop on Poop” and “Animal Poop Facts.” Oseid’s illustrations, done in pen and ink and colored digitally, have shadows suggesting the three-dimensionality of the droppings and pleasing, soothing color choices. For a younger audience than most recent titles about animal excrement, this might make a nice pair with Taro Gomi’s classic Everyone Poops (2001).

A primer on poop and a guessing game, especially for those just beyond toilet training. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-57091-798-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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CARPENTER'S HELPER

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story.

A home-renovation project is interrupted by a family of wrens, allowing a young girl an up-close glimpse of nature.

Renata and her father enjoy working on upgrading their bathroom, installing a clawfoot bathtub, and cutting a space for a new window. One warm night, after Papi leaves the window space open, two wrens begin making a nest in the bathroom. Rather than seeing it as an unfortunate delay of their project, Renata and Papi decide to let the avian carpenters continue their work. Renata witnesses the birth of four chicks as their rosy eggs split open “like coats that are suddenly too small.” Renata finds at a crucial moment that she can help the chicks learn to fly, even with the bittersweet knowledge that it will only hasten their exits from her life. Rosen uses lively language and well-chosen details to move the story of the baby birds forward. The text suggests the strong bond built by this Afro-Latinx father and daughter with their ongoing project without needing to point it out explicitly, a light touch in a picture book full of delicate, well-drawn moments and precise wording. Garoche’s drawings are impressively detailed, from the nest’s many small bits to the developing first feathers on the chicks and the wall smudges and exposed wiring of the renovation. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Renata’s wren encounter proves magical, one most children could only wish to experience outside of this lovely story. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12320-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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ADDIE ANT GOES ON AN ADVENTURE

Young readers will be “antsy” to join the hero on her satisfying escapade.

An ant explores her world.

Addie Ant’s ready for adventure. Despite some trepidation about leaving the Tomato Bed, where she lives with her aunt, she plucks up her courage and ventures forth across the garden to the far side of the shed. On her journey, she meets her pal Lewis Ladybug, who greets her warmly, points the way, and offers sage advice. When Addie arrives at her destination, she’s welcomed by lovely Beatrix Butterfly and enjoys an “ant-tastic” helping of watermelon. Beatrix also provides Addie with take-home treats and a map for the “Cricket Express,” which will take her straight home. Arriving at the terminal, Addie’s delighted to meet another friend, Cleo Cricket, whose carriage service returns Addie home in “two hops.” After eating a warm tomato soup dinner, Addie falls asleep and dreams of future exploits. Adorable though not terribly original, this story brims with sensuous pleasures, both textual and visual. Kids who declare that they dislike fruits or veggies may find their mouths watering at the mentions and sights of luscious tomatoes, peas, beans, watermelons, berries, and other foodstuffs; insect-averse readers may likewise think differently after encountering these convivial, wide-eyed characters. And those flowers and herbs everywhere! The highlights are the colors that burst from the pages. Addie’s an endearing, empowering character who reassures children they’ll be able to take those first independent steps successfully.

Young readers will be “antsy” to join the hero on her satisfying escapade. (author’s note about ants) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 9, 2024

ISBN: 9781797228914

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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