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WAIT—AND SEE

A reminder of the wonders we can see in nature if we slow down and pay attention.

An invitation to embody the attributes of a praying mantis: stillness, awareness, patience, calm, and focus.

Frost and Lieder continue their collaboration with a paean to the fascinating creature that is the Chinese praying mantis. The book invites readers to sharpen their observation skills in order to appreciate the marvels of the elusive little creature. Noting that praying mantises can be brown or green, the text urges children to emulate the insect’s composure and patience: “It can wait a long time, / staring straight / at you. / Can you wait a long / time too?” Budding entomologists must “be still and quiet” and “keep watching” if they want to witness a praying mantis hunting, eating, and even being born. Frost’s rhyming text scans fairly well and draws readers into the experience of standing in the presence of this awe-inspiring arthropod. Lieder uses macro photography techniques to capture detailed, close-up, stunning views of the insect as it perches on various flowers, snatches prey with its sharp spines, and hangs upside down on a leaf. Children will undoubtedly feel compelled to make up fun stories for these personality-filled creepy-crawlies. Of particular note is a crystal-clear photo of praying mantis nymphs emerging from their cocoon. A closing author’s note describes the life cycle of praying mantises.

A reminder of the wonders we can see in nature if we slow down and pay attention. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1631-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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SNACK, SNOOZE, SKEDADDLE

HOW ANIMALS GET READY FOR WINTER

A good choice for a late fall storytime.

Animal behaviors change as they prepare to face the winter.

Migrate, hibernate, or tolerate. With smooth rhymes and jaunty illustrations, Salas and Gévry introduce three strategies animals use for coping with winter cold. The author’s long experience in imparting information to young readers is evident in her selection of familiar animals and in her presentation. Spread by spread she introduces her examples, preparing in fall and surviving in winter. She describes two types of migration: Hummingbirds and monarchs fly, and blue whales travel to the warmth of the south; earthworms burrow deeper into the earth. Without using technical words, she introduces four forms of hibernation—chipmunks nap and snack; bears mainly sleep; Northern wood frogs become an “icy pop,” frozen until spring; and normally solitary garter snakes snuggle together in huge masses. Those who can tolerate the winter still change behavior. Mice store food and travel in tunnels under the snow; moose grow a warmer kind of fur; the red fox dives into the snow to catch small mammals (like those mice); and humans put on warm clothes and play. The animals in the soft pastel illustrations are recognizable, more cuddly than realistic, and quite appealing; their habitats are stylized. The humans represent varied ethnicities. Each page includes two levels of text, and there’s further information in the extensive backmatter. Pair with Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees (2014).

A good choice for a late fall storytime. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2900-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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