Make room for this book on the pourquoi shelf.

READ REVIEW

THE LEGEND OF THE COQUÍ

An origin story about Puerto Rico’s iconic coquí frog.

In this story, Lázaro presents an original legend surrounding the coquí. Like many legends, it starts “long, long ago” at a time when “life was so easy that the animals didn’t have to do much but eat, sleep, nap, and snack.” Naturally, this behavior leads to a lethargy that does not please the queen of the forest, the parrot. And a race is announced. One representative from each type of animal will race. Whichever one wins, all of its type will get “a fantastic prize.” With many an onomatopoeic sound, the competitors exercise and get ready for the big day, all except for the quiet little frogs. Their representative hops, jumps, and leaps with glee on its face, but no sound issues from its throat. It will come as no surprise to readers—but is no less satisfying—to find the little frog wins the race. And, the prize? Why, the sound that visitors to the island to this very day can still hear: “coquí.” Bright and colorful illustrations beautifully capture the Puerto Rican rainforest setting, rendered mostly in double-page spreads. The movement-filled illustrations are as dynamic as the race itself, with display type adding playful emphasis.

Make room for this book on the pourquoi shelf. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4788-6802-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Reycraft Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Lots of detail and complex vocabulary mean most young children won’t linger past check-in at this hotel; older children will...

BUG HOTEL

Bearing the tagline “A lift-the-flap book of discovery,” this board book for older children is meant to inspire garden explorations.

Its inviting house-shaped design with multiple peep-hole windows hints at what children will find inside. The first page explains that “A bug hotel is a multistory homemade habitat where creepy crawlies of all shapes and sizes can find a place to stay!” The benefits of providing accommodations for six different garden critters are then detailed, one per double-page spread. Information about each creature’s ideal environment and how humans can foster that habitat is behind the largest flap on each spread, which also includes a cutout through which the insect can be seen. “Snails come out mainly at night, so a dark and protected habitat helps to keep them cool, happy and safe from predators….” Smaller flaps discuss characteristics of each critter—pollination for bees, metamorphosis for butterflies, etc. The final spread reviews the various materials needed to attract different bugs to the garden. However, there are no instructions included or even websites to consult to assist readers in actually constructing a bug hotel. Birdhouse, published simultaneously using the same format, is somewhat more successful, possibly because birdhouses are more common.

Lots of detail and complex vocabulary mean most young children won’t linger past check-in at this hotel; older children will still need help from a caregiver or teacher . (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61067-766-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Clear, age-appropriate, and durable—the best way to get a young coder started—without screen time.

MY FIRST CODING BOOK

Coding principles are gamified with tabs and flaps.

Topic by topic in double-page spreads, this book tackles the fundamental concepts and logic of computer programing, with playful interactions that vary appropriately. The game for “decomposing,” an essential skill, has durable flaps with answers for questions posed about what steps are needed for a task. The “algorithm” spread explains the way computers interpret commands with comical illustrations of what happens when there are missing steps or insufficient detail. A cupcake-making machine with flaps that reveal whether a part in the illustration is functioning or buggy explains “debugging,” and so on. Each interaction suits its given topic remarkably well. An IF- and ELSE-statement explains conditionals with a treasure-hunt flap game that has surprising replayability. In the variables game, the book’s most complicated, readers time themselves counting up objects worth different point values via a spinning wheel and lift a tab to see if they were correct. Throughout, “Code Word” sidebars and other explanations are provided by pixelated humans of all genders and skin tones, and the game art is a bubbly cartoon style.

Clear, age-appropriate, and durable—the best way to get a young coder started—without screen time. (glossary, index) (Informational novelty. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4654-5973-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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