An immersive tour of oceanic realms.

A globe-spanning gallery of marine life in panoramic settings ranging from the rocky nesting sites of seabirds to the depths of the Marianas Trench.

Hawkins and Letherland (Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures, 2017, etc.) include stops in Arctic and other northerly waters but largely focus on named locales in the Pacific and the Southern Hemisphere. Painted views of a sperm whale and a colossal squid going tooth to tentacle in the Ross Sea or a teeming shoal of hammerhead sharks swirling around a Cocos Island seamount supply visual drama while undulating lines of accompanying captions offer generous dollops of the verbal sort: “The lionfish gets a taste of its own medicine as the Bobbit worm injects a paralyzing toxin. Dinner is served.” Here brightly colored sea dragons and other tropical fish dart through equally picturesque reefs, there blue-footed boobies and crimson Sally Lightfoot crabs (both “nifty little movers”) strut their stuff ashore. As if there weren’t natural business enough to provide an engrossing turmoil, sharp-eyed viewers will spot goggles on a leatherback turtle, a Magellanic penguin poised on a diving board, and other tongue-in-cheek tweaks. Periodic mentions of the dangers of floating plastic and other pollution add an undercurrent that surfaces at the end in a spread titled “Oceans in Danger.” Otherwise, aside from the occasional boat, humans and their works are absent.

An immersive tour of oceanic realms. (index) (Informational picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4531-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019


1001 BEES

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

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 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021


What happens to the dogs when dogfighting rings are broken up and the trials are over? Typically, the dogs are put to sleep, thought to be too dangerous to re-enter society. Because of the wide publicity of the Michael Vick case, animal activists were able to work to rescue all but one of his dogs; this is the story of one that survived. The little black pit bull puppy, later named after World War II hero Audie Murphy, thrives in his foster home. Soon he goes to live with a family that wants to train him for agility competitions. Audie needs surgery on his bad knees though, so not only does he still need to learn how to be a safe and social dog, he also has to recover from an operation. Audie goes through Canine Good Citizen classes and does so well he eventually helps train other dogs. He also excels in his agility training once his knees have healed. Color photographs chronicling Audie’s journey are placed on vibrantly colored pages; Muñoz captures the dog’s personality in frame after frame. Patent's text is straightforward, expertly providing just the right level of background and choosing kid-friendly details to illustrate Audie's experiences. Ample backmatter provides further background and resources. Audie’s inspirational story is a case study in rehabilitation, one sure to appeal to animal loving children. (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8027-2272-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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