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

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard.

HELLO AUTUMN!

Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season.

Name a change seen in northern climes in fall, and Rotner likely covers it here, from plants, trees, and animals to the food we harvest: seeds are spread, the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and fall (and are raked up and jumped in), some animals migrate, and many families celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. As in the previous book, the photographs (presented in a variety of sizes and layouts, all clean) are the stars here, displaying both the myriad changes of the season and a multicultural array of children enjoying the outdoors in fall. These are set against white backgrounds that make the reddish-orange print pop. The text itself uses short sentences and some solid vocabulary (though “deep sleep” is used instead of “hibernate”) to teach readers the markers of autumn, though in the quest for simplicity, Rotner sacrifices some truth. In several cases, the addition of just a few words would have made the following oversimplified statements reflect reality: “Birds grow more feathers”; “Cranberries float and turn red.” Also, Rotner includes the statement “Bees store extra honey in their hives” on a page about animals going into deep sleep, implying that honeybees hibernate, which is false.

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3869-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A solid addition to Rotner’s seasonal series. Bring on summer.

HELLO WINTER!

Rotner follows up her celebrations of spring and autumn with this look at all things winter.

Beginning with the signs that winter is coming—bare trees, shorter days, colder temperatures—Rotner eases readers into the season. People light fires and sing songs on the solstice, trees and plants stop growing, and shadows grow long. Ice starts to form on bodies of water and windows. When the snow flies, the fun begins—bundle up and then build forts, make snowballs and snowmen (with eyebrows!), sled, ski (nordic is pictured), skate, snowshoe, snowboard, drink hot chocolate. Animals adapt to the cold as well. “Birds grow more feathers” (there’s nothing about fluffing and air insulation) and mammals, more hair. They have to search for food, and Rotner discusses how many make or find shelter, slow down, hibernate, or go underground or underwater to stay warm. One page talks about celebrating holidays with lights and decorations. The photos show a lit menorah, an outdoor deciduous tree covered in huge Christmas bulbs, a girl next to a Chinese dragon head, a boy with lit luminarias, and some fireworks. The final spread shows signs of the season’s shift to spring. Rotner’s photos, as always, are a big draw. The children are a marvelous mix of cultures and races, and all show their clear delight with winter.

A solid addition to Rotner’s seasonal series. Bring on summer. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3976-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more