A good start for budding naturalists, leading naturally to more populous surveys such as Jinny Johnson’s Atlas of Animals...

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WILDERNESS

AN INTERACTIVE ATLAS OF ANIMALS

A select cast of animals—many on or under flaps and shaped pages—poses in seven characteristic habitats.

Printed on sturdy stock, the painted galleries, inset flaps, spinners, and a closing pop-up mountain will stand up to the heavy use it invites. In natural settings ranging from rain forest and desert to both fresh and salt water, Wren places realistically depicted wildlife (many of the creatures looking directly at viewers) in groups that leave plenty of room for Pang’s identifying labels and sometimes-arresting comments: “The slow-moving sloth visits the forest floor just once a week to do a poo”; “Don’t mess with the meat-eating piranha and its razor-sharp teeth!”; “BEAVER: This little feller cuts down trees with its sharp teeth.” Some of the animals, such as the giant desert hairy scorpion, the panther chameleon, and a regal tiger, are particularly memorable. Inset booklets offer further introductions to, for instance, “Bugs” or “Creatures of the Deep,” and cutout windows with spinners show stages of frog and butterfly metamorphoses. Aside from a confusing use of the term “hemisphere” in the introductory spread, the information is dependable if light for the overall word count.

A good start for budding naturalists, leading naturally to more populous surveys such as Jinny Johnson’s Atlas of Animals (2013). (Informational pop-up book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-944530-03-7

Page Count: 24

Publisher: 360 Degrees

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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