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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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF ANIMALS

An outsized overview of animal types, senses, and common characteristics liberally endowed with flaps, pull-tabs, and like furbelows.

Della Malva’s realistically drawn animals crowd sturdy leaves large enough to feature life-size (or nearly so) images of the folded wings of a sea gull and a macaw, and Baumann fills the gaps between with meaty descriptive comments. On every page elements that lift, unfold, pop up, or spin aren’t just slapped on, but actively contribute to the presentation. On a “Birth and Growing” spread, for instance, each of six eggs from ostrich to platypus is a flap with an embryo beneath; a spinner presents a slideshow of a swallowtail’s life cycle from egg to adult; and no fewer than three attached booklets expand on the general topic using other species. Subsequent spreads cover animal sight, hearing, body coverings, grasping and touch, locomotion, and—centering on a startling gander down the pop-up maw of a wolf—eating. The animals and relevant body parts are all clearly labeled, and the text is pitched to serve equally well both casual browsers (“Even fish pee!”) and young zoologists seriously interested in the difference between “scales” and “scutes” or curious about the range of insect-mouth shapes.

Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-281-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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