A straightforward description of how some humans are working to help animals affected by the oils we all use.

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RIVER RESCUE

Oiled birds get rescued and rehabilitated by an experienced team.

On the U.S. East Coast, a team from the Delaware-based Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research rescues birds and animals from oil spills of all kinds. Their process involves capture, treatment, including extensive scrubbing, and time for recovery before release. The book’s alliterative title misleads: This organization works with animals oiled in all kinds of places. In the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, in their biggest oil-spill job, pelicans were the most common birds they treated, described in the two opening spreads. Yee’s digitally colored drawings are realistic. Knowledgeable readers will recognize the painted turtle, great blue herons, mallards, Canada geese, bald eagle, and mergansers in the hands of wildlife rehabilitators, veterinarians, and support staff or paddling happily in recovery pools. Peeking out of cages in their rescue truck are others: a wood duck, a muskrat, a cormorant. The variety is impressive. The men and women working with these injured animals represent different ages and races. The relatively simple text is printed directly on the illustrations in a large font. The use of first-person plural emphasizes the teamwork involved. As with other books from this publisher, backmatter includes further information: suggestions for things readers can do, a picture-identification puzzle, and an interview with the organization’s executive director.

A straightforward description of how some humans are working to help animals affected by the oils we all use. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60718-823-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity

THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO

When the war comes to Syria, many flee, but Alaa stays in his beloved city, Aleppo, where he continues to work as an ambulance driver and helps the wounded to safety.

Day after day, he misses his family and friends who have left, wondering where they are and how they are doing. His neighborhood empties—except for cats! However, these cats are affected by the conflict too; they’re left behind with shelters destroyed and food and water stringently limited. Alaa, who has a big heart, starts taking care of them using the little money he has. The love between man and cats multiplies, and many people from around the world step up to help. Soon, the cats of Aleppo get a pleasant shelter set in a courtyard. However, Alaa does not stop there and goes on to help other animals and more people, spreading joy, love, and hope. Based on a true story, this picture book is distinctive for its engaging narrative and impeccable illustrations. It is also enriched with notes from Alaa himself (the real one) as well as the authors and illustrator. The often-dramatic images offer a glimpse of the city prior to the conflict and a window on the real people who experience war and try to survive and help others around them.

A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity . (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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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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