A simple but effective introduction to the “feathered family.”

ALL THE BIRDS IN THE WORLD

A kiwi from New Zealand discovers how it differs from other birds in the world and what it shares with them.

Opie here demonstrates his skills as a wildlife illustrator, ably capturing the look of particular species in this grand collection that demonstrates bird similarities and differences. Over 100 different bird images appear in the backgrounds, placed amid blue skies, wispy clouds, and bits of vegetated ground. The first-time author/illustrator provides a straightforward text that simply but effectively gets his point across. All birds have feathers, wings, and beaks, but after that they can be astonishingly different. Spread after spread, he shows how they vary in coloration, shape and size, nests, eggs, feet, beaks, where they fly or swim, and sounds and songs. Some birds are shown flying; others perch, stand on the ground, wade in shallow water, or dive and swim. On many spreads, a stumpy little brown bird asks “What about me?” A final spread describes the kiwi in detail, including its eggs, burrows, hidden wings, and furlike feathers. Though flightless, it’s still part of the wide-ranging bird family. This attractive title includes many of the more-colorful species a North American child might encounter either in books or in their own experience. With the identifications that appear in the three pages of backmatter, it makes an ideal framework for a fledgling birder’s practice.

A simple but effective introduction to the “feathered family.” (author’s note, more about kiwis) (Informational picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4413-3329-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peter Pauper Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders.

THE BIG BOOK OF THE BLUE

Denizens of the deep crowd oversized pages in this populous gallery of ocean life.

The finny and tentacled sea creatures drifting or arrowing through Zommer’s teeming watercolor seascapes are generally recognizable, and they are livened rather than distorted by the artist’s tendency to place human eyes on the same side of many faces, Picasso-like. Headers such as “Ink-teresting” or “In for the krill” likewise add a playful tone to the pithy comments on anatomical features or behavioral quirks that accompany the figures (which include, though rarely, a white human diver). The topical spreads begin with an overview of ocean families (“Some are hairy, some have scales, some have fins and some are boneless and brainless!”), go on to introduce select animals in no particular order from sea horses and dragonets to penguins and pufferfish, then close with cautionary remarks on chemical pollution and floating plastic. The author invites readers as they go to find both answers to such questions as “Why does a crab run sideways?” and also a small sardine hidden in some, but not all, of the pictures. For the latter he provides a visual key at the end, followed by a basic glossary.

A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders. (index) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65119-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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A good introduction to observation, data, and trying again.

CECE LOVES SCIENCE

From the Cece and the Scientific Method series

Cece loves asking “why” and “what if.”

Her parents encourage her, as does her science teacher, Ms. Curie (a wink to adult readers). When Cece and her best friend, Isaac, pair up for a science project, they choose zoology, brainstorming questions they might research. They decide to investigate whether dogs eat vegetables, using Cece’s schnauzer, Einstein, and the next day they head to Cece’s lab (inside her treehouse). Wearing white lab coats, the two observe their subject and then offer him different kinds of vegetables, alone and with toppings. Cece is discouraged when Einstein won’t eat them. She complains to her parents, “Maybe I’m not a real scientist after all….Our project was boring.” Just then, Einstein sniffs Cece’s dessert, leading her to try a new way to get Einstein to eat vegetables. Cece learns that “real scientists have fun finding answers too.” Harrison’s clean, bright illustrations add expression and personality to the story. Science report inserts are reminiscent of The Magic Schoolbus books, with less detail. Biracial Cece is a brown, freckled girl with curly hair; her father is white, and her mother has brown skin and long, black hair; Isaac and Ms. Curie both have pale skin and dark hair. While the book doesn’t pack a particularly strong emotional or educational punch, this endearing protagonist earns a place on the children’s STEM shelf.

A good introduction to observation, data, and trying again. (glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-249960-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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