A thoroughly amusing way to introduce kids to bug behavior.

BUGS DON'T HUG

SIX-LEGGED PARENTS AND THEIR KIDS

Are bugs good parents?

Are they loving and affectionate? Do they feed their offspring? Playful contrasts between human and insect behavior will captivate young readers as they listen to the read-aloud–friendly text and view the alternating cartoonlike spoofs on human living and detailed bug environments. In one picture, a bug hides its eyes and exclaims, “Where’s Baby?” to two excited baby bugs. The text reads: “Bugs don’t play peekaboo.” After the page turn, the text reads: “But tortoise beetle babies do get to hide.” The illustration displays an un-anthropomorphized tortoise beetle mother realistically sheltering “her young under her speckled shell.” The book uses this format throughout to show true insect behavior in a way that young children can absorb easily. On another page, the text reads: “For dinner bugs don’t make soup.” Some adults may not be charmed by the burying beetles that use their saliva to create a “soupy meal” in craters of mouse meat for their little ones, but kids will thoroughly enjoy these weird facts. The last spread shows an interracial family (white dad and black mom with a biracial child), lots of bug toys, and the message learned through this journey: “Bugs ARE like us” (“aren’t” is crossed out). Further information about the insects is presented in the informative backmatter along with an exhortation to get outside and explore nature.

A thoroughly amusing way to introduce kids to bug behavior. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-816-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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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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Good advice and good reading practice rolled into one.

MY FIRST KITTEN

From the My First series

Kitten care presented early-reader style.

“Something soft and furry / Is coming home with me. // It is my new kitten. / She is as sweet as can be!” First-person, easy-reading text describes meeting the kitten, feeding the kitten, playing with the kitten, then taking it to the vet and keeping it safe. The first half of this volume is presented in rhyme with Wachter's photos of real children of various races and their kittens (always the same kitten-and-child pairings) imposed on simple cartoon backgrounds. On other pages, photos of kittens (all cute as the dickens) leaping, scratching, running, and sleeping appear against similar backgrounds. The second half reiterates the same information but in more detail. It passes on instructions in simple language for tasks like introducing a kitten to its litter box and interpreting the sounds and body language of your new furry friend. Jumping the species barrier, Biscuit creator Capucilli does a fine job of instructing young, new pet owners in the care of their wee feline friends in this companion to My First Puppy (2019). This helpful guidebook ends with a message encouraging aspiring young pet friends to adopt from shelters. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-12-inch double-page spreads viewed at 85.7% of actual size.)

Good advice and good reading practice rolled into one. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-7754-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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