An engaging if disappointingly imperfect introduction to animals and (some of) the foods they eat.

READ REVIEW

WHO EATS ORANGE?

White and Page introduce a variety of animals in this playful informational picture book.

Each color is allotted two double-page spreads, citing four animals that eat a particular color of food before naming a fifth that does not: “Who eats orange?” Rabbits and chickens do. “Who else eats orange? / Goats. // Pigs. / Gorillas too. Gorillas? No! Gorillas don’t eat orange. They eat….” That fifth animal acts as a transition to the next color and set of animals: “[Gorillas eat] Green. Who else eats green? / Giraffes in savannas do.” Observant readers will note that most animals in a color grouping are from a particular habitat, and the fifth animal is always the exception. Page’s digitally rendered illustrations are realistic and inviting, with each animal featured against a stark white background, staring out at readers. White’s text doesn’t name the foods, only the animals and colors, leaving space for readers or listeners to independently interpret the illustrations. The repetition in White’s text encourages pattern recognition and sets readers up for engaging surprises. Organized by color/habitat, a double-page spread of backmatter gives further details on both the animals and foods highlighted. Habitats include ocean, forest, rainforest, tundra, farm, and, unfortunately, the broad continent of Africa. The inclusion of Africa rather than another habitat or biome perpetuates the common idea that the African continent is monolithic, with interchangeable countries and, in this case, a consistent habitat. In another notable misstep, among the red foods eaten by ocean creatures is a bright-red lobster—a color displayed only after they are cooked.

An engaging if disappointingly imperfect introduction to animals and (some of) the foods they eat. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0408-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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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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