Young readers will be inspired by these women who show an unwavering commitment to preserving the wildlife, no matter what...

THE LION QUEENS OF INDIA

The photography-driven book tells the story of an all-women animal rescue team working in India’s Gir National Park, the world’s last known habitat for Asiatic lions.

The book is narrated by Rashila, who declares, “I love lions,” and who became the first woman forest guard at Gir in her early 20s, earning the moniker “Lion Queen.” Subsequently, several other women have been hired as guards, hence the title’s plural. From fighting poachers to confronting lions, and despite the dangers these women face on a daily basis, they show an unwavering commitment to preserving the wildlife, no matter what it takes. Reynolds’ photography (supplemented by others’ contributions) is based on fieldwork in Gir in January 2018 as well as interviews and ongoing conversations with sanctuary leadership and workers. The result is a refreshing take on the exotic-animal photo essay, one that centers people of the community rather than white, foreign scientists. Indeed, the only white person in the book can be found in a small photo of the author riding pillion on a motorbike with Rashila. In her author’s note, Reynolds describes initially meeting Rashila and then shadowing her through the park. The note also reiterates the text’s strong environmental messaging. In addition to profiling these remarkable women, the text is full of lion facts and vocabulary, which make it a solid nonfiction book about animals.

Young readers will be inspired by these women who show an unwavering commitment to preserving the wildlife, no matter what it takes. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64379-051-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A good introduction to observation, data, and trying again.

CECE LOVES SCIENCE

From the Cece and the Scientific Method series

Cece loves asking “why” and “what if.”

Her parents encourage her, as does her science teacher, Ms. Curie (a wink to adult readers). When Cece and her best friend, Isaac, pair up for a science project, they choose zoology, brainstorming questions they might research. They decide to investigate whether dogs eat vegetables, using Cece’s schnauzer, Einstein, and the next day they head to Cece’s lab (inside her treehouse). Wearing white lab coats, the two observe their subject and then offer him different kinds of vegetables, alone and with toppings. Cece is discouraged when Einstein won’t eat them. She complains to her parents, “Maybe I’m not a real scientist after all….Our project was boring.” Just then, Einstein sniffs Cece’s dessert, leading her to try a new way to get Einstein to eat vegetables. Cece learns that “real scientists have fun finding answers too.” Harrison’s clean, bright illustrations add expression and personality to the story. Science report inserts are reminiscent of The Magic Schoolbus books, with less detail. Biracial Cece is a brown, freckled girl with curly hair; her father is white, and her mother has brown skin and long, black hair; Isaac and Ms. Curie both have pale skin and dark hair. While the book doesn’t pack a particularly strong emotional or educational punch, this endearing protagonist earns a place on the children’s STEM shelf.

A good introduction to observation, data, and trying again. (glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-249960-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An arguable error of omission and definite errors of commission sink this otherwise attractive effort.

ANIMAL ARCHITECTS

From the Amazing Animals series

A look at the unique ways that 11 globe-spanning animal species construct their homes.

Each creature garners two double-page spreads, which Cherrix enlivens with compelling and at-times jaw-dropping facts. The trapdoor spider constructs a hidden burrow door from spider silk. Sticky threads, fanning from the entrance, vibrate “like a silent doorbell” when walked upon by unwitting insect prey. Prairie dogs expertly dig communal burrows with designated chambers for “sleeping, eating, and pooping.” The largest recorded “town” occupied “25,000 miles and housed as many as 400 million prairie dogs!” Female ants are “industrious insects” who can remove more than a ton of dirt from their colony in a year. Cathedral termites use dirt and saliva to construct solar-cooled towers 30 feet high. Sasaki’s lively pictures borrow stylistically from the animal compendiums of mid-20th-century children’s lit; endpapers and display type elegantly suggest the blues of cyanotypes and architectural blueprints. Jarringly, the lead spread cheerfully extols the prowess of the corals of the Great Barrier Reef, “the world’s largest living structure,” while ignoring its accelerating, human-abetted destruction. Calamitously, the honeybee hive is incorrectly depicted as a paper-wasps’ nest, and the text falsely states that chewed beeswax “hardens into glue to shape the hive.” (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An arguable error of omission and definite errors of commission sink this otherwise attractive effort. (selected sources) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5625-9

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 6, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more