EAGLES

The large picture-book format, brief text, and many colorful eagle paintings, which appear in this modestly priced title, will attract young readers, but the text is choppy, imprecise, and dull. For example: “Eagles are big, powerful birds. They soar through the sky with their long wide wings. Eagles are birds of prey—birds who hunt for their food. All birds of prey have curved beaks and sharp claws.” In fact, all birds hunt for their food, unless they are caged birds. And many other kinds of birds have curved beaks and sharp claws. Elsewhere it indicates the Bald Eagle eats fish, and so they do; but they also eat rabbits, geese, snakes, and almost any dead animals they can find. In the section, “Eagles and People,” the author discusses the near decimation of eagles from hunting, poison, and lack of habitat, but does not mention the remarkable comeback of the eagle. Watercolor paintings, while handsome, are often too small or too fuzzy to provide sufficient detail. For example, in eagle-watching, the author indicates a Bald Eagle nest is found high in a tree, but the one pictured is the size of a rice grain. Elsewhere, the author notes the snake eagles have “short toes for gripping their thin prey.” Hard to tell when toes are the size of a pinhead. The author and illustrator briefly introduce a dozen species from around the world, give hints on eagle-watching, and a brief glossary and index. With a dozen fine eagle titles in print, including several at the easy-reading level, like Gail Gibbons’s Soar with the Wind, this is an additional purchase. (Nonfiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-55074-715-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Superficially appealing; much less so upon closer examination.

TOO MANY CARROTS

When Rabbit’s unbridled mania for collecting carrots leaves him unable to sleep in his cozy burrow, other animals offer to put him up.

But to Rabbit, their homes are just more storage space for carrots: Tortoise’s overstuffed shell cracks open; the branch breaks beneath Bird’s nest; Squirrel’s tree trunk topples over; and Beaver’s bulging lodge collapses at the first rainstorm. Impelled by guilt and the epiphany that “carrots weren’t for collecting—they were for SHARING!” Rabbit invites his newly homeless friends into his intact, and inexplicably now-roomy, burrow for a crunchy banquet. This could be read (with some effort) as a lightly humorous fable with a happy ending, and Hudson’s depictions of carrot-strewn natural scenes, of Rabbit as a plush bunny, and of the other animals as, at worst, mildly out of sorts support that take. Still, the insistent way Rabbit keeps forcing himself on his friends and the magnitude of the successive disasters may leave even less-reflective readers disturbed. Moreover, as Rabbit is never seen actually eating a carrot, his stockpiling looks a lot like the sort of compulsive hoarding that, in humans, is regarded as a mental illness.

Superficially appealing; much less so upon closer examination. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62370-638-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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