ORCA RESCUE!

THE TRUE STORY OF AN ORPHANED ORCA NAMED SPRINGER

Orca activist Sandstrom details the 2002 rescue of an orphaned juvenile separated from her northern resident pod in British Columbia.

After she’s sighted in Washington’s Puget Sound, regional experts work at identification. Orcas live in tightly bonded pods; individuals’ unique dorsal fin shapes, saddle patches, and calls are well documented by researchers. A hydrophone records this orca’s call, keying it to the A4 pod. Photos corroborate her identity as Springer, born in 2000. She and her mother had failed to return to Johnstone Strait with their pod in 2001. Springer’s reappearance sets off an extraordinary rescue and pod reunion involving citizen and professional scientists, nonprofits, U.S. and Canadian governmental agencies, and First Nations and Native American tribal members. Sandstrom is key in organizing financial and in-kind support for the complex rescue, helping to build the Orphan Orca Fund, a coalition of seven nonprofits. Combining eyewitness experiences with solid research, her narrative delivers a clear, month-by-month account of Springer’s rescue, imparting an exciting immediacy. Burwash’s appealing illustrations provide valuable detail. Between first sighting and ultimate reunion, Springer is assessed, monitored, weighed, dewormed, and twice transported to holding net pens. Fascinatingly quickly, experts detect A4 pod’s calls—and Springer’s response. Within 24 hours of Springer’s Canadian homecoming, A4 pod arrives, and Springer is released. Sandstrom recounts subsequent reunions—human and cetacean—and the marvelous news of Springer’s two calves. Cogent topical interludes provide historical and scientific background.

Impressive. (maps, matriline, human-made threats, photos, how to help, glossary, bibliography, websites, team participants, author’s note) (Nonfiction. 6-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0117-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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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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