FACE TO FACE WITH WHALES

This addition to National Geographic’s Face to Face with Animals series introduces whales. Opening with photographer Nicklin’s first research encounter nearly 30 years ago, the text goes on to describe physical characteristics, family lives and eating methods, and to touch on issues concerning their ocean environment and human encounters from hunting to whale-watching. Extensive photo captions add intriguing facts about specific species. The photographs are the main attraction here, beginning with the astonishingly close-up humpback face on the front cover and title page. Curiously, although the author makes the point that whale species can be identified by the shape of their flukes, captions for the two photos that show only flukes fail to indicate the species. As in other books in the series, the endmatter includes sections on How You Can Help (environmental protection and adopt-a-whale programs), It’s Your Turn (doing research) and Facts at a Glance, as well as a glossary, suggestions for further reading and web exploration, index and research and photo notes. Complements the authors’ Face to Face with Dolphins (2007). (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 13, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4263-0244-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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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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RED-EYED TREE FROG

Bishop’s spectacular photographs of the tiny red-eyed tree frog defeat an incidental text from Cowley (Singing Down the Rain, 1997, etc.). The frog, only two inches long, is enormous in this title; it appears along with other nocturnal residents of the rain forests of Central America, including the iguana, ant, katydid, caterpillar, and moth. In a final section, Cowley explains how small the frog is and aspects of its life cycle. The main text, however, is an afterthought to dramatic events in the photos, e.g., “But the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day. It wakes up hungry. What will it eat? Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas.” Accompanying an astonishing photograph of the tree frog leaping away from a boa snake are three lines (“The snake flicks its tongue. It tastes frog in the air. Look out, frog!”) that neither advance nor complement the action. The layout employs pale and deep green pages and typeface, and large jewel-like photographs in which green and red dominate. The combination of such visually sophisticated pages and simplistic captions make this a top-heavy, unsatisfying title. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-87175-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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