Rancid rhymes and syncopated stank and plenty of eeeew just for you.

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EEK, YOU REEK!

POEMS ABOUT ANIMALS THAT STINK, STANK, STUNK

What is that pong? These critters smell wrong!

“Eek, you reek, / You made a funk. / Where you have been / Things stink, stank, stunk.” Yolen and daughter Stemple (Monster Academy, 2018, etc.) team up again for a collection of poems that…um, celebrate those animals large and small that make the world a smellier place. The requisite skunk and stinkbug are joined by their lesser-known putrid pals. There are the stinkpot turtle, or Sternotherus odoratus (“There you are, oh odoratus, / With your musky turtle status. / Small mud-loving omnivore / That raccoons equally adore. / You pump out bad perfumes galore / When chased down by a predator”), and the hoatzin, a very smelly bird that digests like a cow and smells so foul no animal will eat it. A trio of haiku about icky insects adds to the fun (and info), as do longer poems on ferrets, musk oxen, wolverines, Tasmanian devils, and more. Nobati’s green-tinged, digitally painted pencil drawings depict the reeking wretches and virtually make the stink visible. A paragraph of information on each creature graces the close, as does a glossary of smelly words and a fetid further reading list. The tone is fresh, however, and the foolish foulness may just hook those who think poetry stinks.

Rancid rhymes and syncopated stank and plenty of eeeew just for you. (Informational picture book/poetry. 6-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5124-8201-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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An incredible connector text for young readers eager to graduate to weighty conversations about our yesterday, our now, and...

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THE UNDEFEATED

Past and present are quilted together in this innovative overview of black Americans’ triumphs and challenges in the United States.

Alexander’s poetry possesses a straightforward, sophisticated, steady rhythm that, paired with Nelson’s detail-oriented oil paintings, carries readers through generations chronicling “the unforgettable,” “the undeniable,” “the unflappable,” and “the righteous marching ones,” alongside “the unspeakable” events that shape the history of black Americans. The illustrator layers images of black creators, martyrs, athletes, and neighbors onto blank white pages, patterns pages with the bodies of slaves stolen and traded, and extends a memorial to victims of police brutality like Sandra Bland and Michael Brown past the very edges of a double-page spread. Each movement of Alexander’s poem is a tribute to the ingenuity and resilience of black people in the U.S., with textual references to the writings of Gwendolyn Brooks, Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, and Malcolm X dotting stanzas in explicit recognition and grateful admiration. The book ends with a glossary of the figures acknowledged in the book and an afterword by the author that imprints the refrain “Black. Lives. Matter” into the collective soul of readers, encouraging them, like the cranes present throughout the book, to “keep rising.”

An incredible connector text for young readers eager to graduate to weighty conversations about our yesterday, our now, and our tomorrow. (Picture book/poetry. 6-12)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-78096-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders.

THE BIG BOOK OF THE BLUE

Denizens of the deep crowd oversized pages in this populous gallery of ocean life.

The finny and tentacled sea creatures drifting or arrowing through Zommer’s teeming watercolor seascapes are generally recognizable, and they are livened rather than distorted by the artist’s tendency to place human eyes on the same side of many faces, Picasso-like. Headers such as “Ink-teresting” or “In for the krill” likewise add a playful tone to the pithy comments on anatomical features or behavioral quirks that accompany the figures (which include, though rarely, a white human diver). The topical spreads begin with an overview of ocean families (“Some are hairy, some have scales, some have fins and some are boneless and brainless!”), go on to introduce select animals in no particular order from sea horses and dragonets to penguins and pufferfish, then close with cautionary remarks on chemical pollution and floating plastic. The author invites readers as they go to find both answers to such questions as “Why does a crab run sideways?” and also a small sardine hidden in some, but not all, of the pictures. For the latter he provides a visual key at the end, followed by a basic glossary.

A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders. (index) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65119-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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