CLEVER DUCK

Damaris the duck lives up to her eponymous epithet in this barnyard adventure, which features, in addition to this resourceful fowl, her canine friend and the farm’s supercilious swine. These haughty hogs hope to belittle Damaris by asking her the definition of “ignoramus,” but the intelligent bird cannot be stumped. “If you don’t know what an ignoramus is, then you must be one,” is her swift reply. Showcasing her erudition, however, brings her no comfort; this duck seeks revenge on the pompous pigs. Damaris and dog Rory lure the pigs out of their pen, and their outdoor escapade wreaks havoc. The hungry hogs overindulge in sugary beets, leaving the results of their messy stomachaches behind, and scheming Mr. Crook captures the pigs. Damaris, feeling responsible for the group’s misfortune, risks her life and wings to return the hogs to their rightful home. Bruel’s black-and-white drawings highlight the animals’ mischievous antics, though it is the hilarious and pretentious boar leader, “Firingclose General Lord Nicholas of Winningshot,” who epitomizes the fun in this farm frenzy. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59643-327-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2008

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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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MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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