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

READ REVIEW

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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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups.

WOLF PUPS JOIN THE PACK

From the First Discoveries series

A photo album of young wolves running, playing, and growing through their first year.

Light on factual details, the uncredited text largely runs to vague observations along the lines of the fact that “young wolves need to rest every now and then” or that packs “differ in size. Some are large and have many wolves, while others are small with only a few.” The chief draws here are the big, color, stock photos, which show pups of diverse ages and species, singly or in groups—running, posing alertly with parents or other adult wolves, eating (regurgitated food only, and that not visible), howling, patrolling, and snoozing as a seasonal round turns green meadows to snowy landscapes. In a notably perfunctory insertion squeezed onto the final spread, a wildlife biologist from the American Museum of Natural History introduces himself and describes his research work—all with animals other than wolves. Budding naturalists should have no trouble running down more nourishing fare, from Seymour Simon’s Wolves (1993) to Jonathan London’s Seasons of Little Wolf (illustrated by Jon Van Zyle, 2014) and on. Baby Dolphin’s First Swim follows the same formula even down to profiling exactly the same wildlife biologist.

A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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