Future animal helpers of all sorts will be en-raptor-ed.

RAPTOR CENTERS

From the Animal Helpers series

This new Animal Helpers book considers raptors that have been injured or need help and the people and centers that care for them.

While the basic definition of a raptor, or bird of prey, is glaringly missing, that is about the only information that seems to be absent from this detailed look at why raptors might need help, how people can provide care for them, and how the birds are either eased back into the wild or trained as ambassadors for wilderness-education programs. When a bird first arrives at a center, it is thoroughly examined with medical instruments and some clever techniques. Helpers monitor their patients daily, providing food, medicine and physical therapy, if needed, and watching to see if the birds can hunt successfully. Baby raptors need special care to ensure that they can be released into the wild. A final section brings the topic home to readers—“Would you like to work with raptors?”—and asks if they could/would do some of the helpers’ (sometimes-unpleasant) tasks. Full-color photographs throughout show the birds and their injuries, the medical staff at work and the recovering raptors. The backmatter extends the learning with activities and more information about raptor-center volunteers and what to do if you find a raptor needing help.

Future animal helpers of all sorts will be en-raptor-ed. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62855-447-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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