An engaging blend of fiction and nonfiction and a nice choice for reluctant readers.

READ REVIEW

A TRIP TO THE TOP OF THE VOLCANO WITH MOUSE

What would it be like to climb a volcano?

Mouse is back, and this time, instead of journeying down to Antarctica, (A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse, 2012), he and his human companion are traveling up to the top of a volcano. Inspired by Viva’s experience climbing Mount Etna and framed as a conversation between a curious, knowledgeable child and an impatient, childlike, pizza-loving mouse, this graphic early reader is replete with gentle humor and memorable images. Beginning with an explanation of some necessary objects a volcano explorer would need, this cheerful selection continues on to provide some basic facts about volcanoes, including plants, trees, and animals that can grow and live along the exterior; some of the sights one might see on a climb; and the characteristics and anatomy of the volcano within. Clear, relatively simple language paired with striking and amusing graphics will draw emerging readers in while well-chosen scientific details provide an appealing introduction to earth science and the world of volcanoes. Add to those draws an entertaining character—if Mouse is lucky, the outing might include both pepperoni pizza and an extra climb up the volcano—and you have a recipe for an enjoyable reading expedition in a very approachable format.

An engaging blend of fiction and nonfiction and a nice choice for reluctant readers. (Graphic informational easy reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-943145-36-2

Page Count: 36

Publisher: TOON Books & Graphics

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups.

WOLF PUPS JOIN THE PACK

From the First Discoveries series

A photo album of young wolves running, playing, and growing through their first year.

Light on factual details, the uncredited text largely runs to vague observations along the lines of the fact that “young wolves need to rest every now and then” or that packs “differ in size. Some are large and have many wolves, while others are small with only a few.” The chief draws here are the big, color, stock photos, which show pups of diverse ages and species, singly or in groups—running, posing alertly with parents or other adult wolves, eating (regurgitated food only, and that not visible), howling, patrolling, and snoozing as a seasonal round turns green meadows to snowy landscapes. In a notably perfunctory insertion squeezed onto the final spread, a wildlife biologist from the American Museum of Natural History introduces himself and describes his research work—all with animals other than wolves. Budding naturalists should have no trouble running down more nourishing fare, from Seymour Simon’s Wolves (1993) to Jonathan London’s Seasons of Little Wolf (illustrated by Jon Van Zyle, 2014) and on. Baby Dolphin’s First Swim follows the same formula even down to profiling exactly the same wildlife biologist.

A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles.

RUN, SEA TURTLE, RUN

A HATCHLING'S JOURNEY

The most fascinating part of this simple photo essay is the last statement made by the narrator, a baby leatherback sea turtle: “Someday I will come back to this same beach. I will lay eggs of my own.”

Although further explained in the backmatter (written for adults), this promise omits the fact that these turtles often travel 10,000 miles per year. As the main audience of this engaging description of leatherback sea turtles is very young children, and the book has a specific focus on the first days of life, the author sticks to a few details about the physical activities undertaken by the hatchling as she makes her way from the buried nest on a beach to the nearby sea. Readers might want to know where this beach is and where these turtles can be found, information not provided beyond the general statement that “They live in all of the world’s oceans.” This is not strictly true, as they are not found in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. These quibbles aside, the easy-to-read text in clear type on blue backgrounds combines with Feuillet’s large photographs (often close-ups) to give readers a step-by-step account of the new turtle’s emergence from the egg to the top of the nest, across the beach, to the water: “WATCH ME RUN!”

An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles. (further information, further reading) (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7812-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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