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

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 Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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A good overview of this complex, essential organ, with an energetic seasoning of silliness.

THE BRAIN IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL

An introduction to the lead guitar and vocalist for the Brainiacs—the human brain.

The brain (familiar to readers of Seluk’s “The Awkward Yeti” webcomic, which spun off the adult title Heart and Brain, 2015) looks like a dodgeball with arms and legs—pinkish, sturdy, and roundish, with a pair of square-framed spectacles bestowing an air of importance and hipness. Other organs of the body—tongue, lungs, stomach, muscle, and heart—are featured as members of the brain’s rock band (the verso of the dust jacket is a poster of the band). Seluk’s breezy, conversational prose and brightly colored, boldly outlined cartoon illustrations deliver basic information. The brain’s role in keeping the heart beating and other automatic functions, directing body movements, interpreting sights and sounds, remembering smells and tastes, and regulating sleep and hunger are all explained, prose augmented by dialogue balloons and information sidebars. Seluk points out, importantly, that feelings originate in the brain: “You can control how you react…but your feelings happen no matter what.” The parodied album covers on the front endpapers (including the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Green Day, Run DMC, Queen, Nirvana) will amuse parents—or at least grandparents—and the rear endpapers serve up band members’ clever social media and texting screenshots. Backmatter includes a glossary and further brain trivia but no resources or bibliography.

A good overview of this complex, essential organ, with an energetic seasoning of silliness. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-16700-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF PLANET EARTH

Flaps, pull tabs, and pop-ups large and small enhance views of our planet’s inside, outside, atmosphere, biosphere, and geophysics.

It’s a hefty, high-speed tour through Earth’s features, climates, and natural resources, with compressed surveys of special topics on multileveled flaps and a spread on the history of life that is extended by a double-foldout wing. But even when teeming with small images of land forms, wildlife, or diverse groups of children and adults, Balicevic’s bright cartoon illustrations look relatively uncrowded. Although the quality of the paper engineering is uneven, the special effects add dramatic set pieces: Readers need to hold in place a humongous column of cumulonimbus clouds for it to reach its full extension; a volcano erupts in a gratifyingly large scale; and, on the plate-tectonics spread, a pull tab gives readers the opportunity to run the Indian Plate into the Eurasian one and see the Himalayas bulge up. A final spread showing resources, mostly renewable ones, being tapped ends with an appeal to protect “our only home.” All in all, it’s a likely alternative to Dougal Jerram’s Utterly Amazing Earth, illustrated by Dan Crisp and Molly Lattin (2017), being broader in scope and a bit more generous in its level of detail.

It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 979-1-02760-562-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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