An appetizing addition to the nature shelf.

I SEE SEA FOOD

SEA CREATURES THAT LOOK LIKE FOOD

An introduction to nine sea creatures named for their resemblance to human food.

After the opening invitation, each spread in this collection describes a fish, sea star, slug, or jelly with a common name that refers to its food look-alike. Large stock photos show the creature, usually in a recognizable reef or ocean habitat. A headline sentence describes its location and locomotion. A short paragraph explains its appearance and how its foodlike features contribute to its survival. A pineapple fish’s spiky scutes, a chocolate chip sea star’s horns, and a sea apple’s shape when inflated are actually protection. The green in a lettuce sea slug comes from the chloroplasts it eats, which convert sunlight to sugar to provide energy. The curly arms on a cauliflower jelly collect its food; the yellow or orange bell of the egg yolk jelly reflects the food it has eaten. The color of a banana wrasse indicates its gender. The shape of the pancake batfish and the color and texture of the pizza crust sea slug provide camouflage. Finally, there are fast facts including alternative common names, Latin names, size, range, habitat, predators, and one more tasty factoid. Grodzicki offers a surprising amount of nutrition with this menu, using appropriate vocabulary explained in context and defined in a glossary. Arguing that “weird and wonderful sea creatures deserve some love too!” she invites readers to continue their exploration.

An appetizing addition to the nature shelf. (further reading, quiz, photo acknowledgments) (Informational picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-5463-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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This charming star shines bright.

THE SUN IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL

A humorous introduction to our sun and the solar system.

Webcomic creator Seluk aquaints readers with the sun (sporting a sly grin and a cool pair of shades) and its position as both the literal and metaphorical star of the solar system. Readers are introduced to the planets’ general relationships to the sun before diving deeper into the Earth’s unique reliance on the sun: “It does a ton of important jobs for Earth. In fact, we wouldn’t be around without the Sun!” The book explores everything from the effects of Earth’s rotation on our planet’s temperatures, daylight, and seasons to the water cycle and photosynthesis with clear and friendly prose. The planets’ characterizations are silly and irreverent: Venus wears a visor, Saturn is a hula-hoop champ, and Jupiter desperately wants an autograph but pretends it’s for one of its moons. Speech-bubble asides and simple but expressive faces and arm postures add to the celestial bodies’ personalities. Bright colors, contrasting backgrounds, and bold lines are engaging but never overwhelming. Vocabulary words set in boldface are tied to a glossary in the back. Backmatter also includes a gossip-magazine–style spread (“Planets: They’re Just Like Us!”) and a “Did You Know” section that highlights ancient civilizations’ beliefs about the sun.

This charming star shines bright. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-16697-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president.

HONEY, THE DOG WHO SAVED ABE LINCOLN

A slice of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood life is explored through a fictionalized anecdote about his dog Honey.

When 7-year-old Abe rescues a golden-brown dog with a broken leg, he takes the pup home to the Lincolns’ cabin in Knob Creek, Kentucky. Honey follows Abe everywhere, including trailing after his owner into a deep cave. When Abe gets stuck between rocks, Honey goes for help and leads a search party back to the trapped boy for a dramatic rescue. The source for this story was a book incorporating the memories of Abe’s boyhood friend, explained in an author’s note. The well-paced text includes invented dialogue attributed to Abe and his parents. Abe’s older sister, Sarah, is not mentioned in the text and is shown in the illustrations as a little girl younger than Abe. All the characters present white save for one black man in the rescue crew. An oversized format and multiple double-page spreads provide plenty of space for cartoon-style illustrations of the Lincoln cabin, the surrounding countryside, and the spooky cave where Abe was trapped. This story focuses on the incident in the cave and Abe’s rescue; a more complete look at Lincoln’s life is included in an appended timeline and the author’s note, both of which include references to Lincoln’s kindness to animals and to other pets he owned.

This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-269900-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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