A highly engaging overview that will have readers eager to learn more.

CUTE AS AN AXOLOTL

DISCOVERING THE WORLD'S MOST ADORABLE ANIMALS

A dynamic introduction to 17 of the world’s most adorable creatures.

Keating and DeGrand’s follow-up to Pink Is for Blobfish (2015) and What Makes a Monster? (2017) highlights still more unusual animals. Each double-page spread is dedicated to one particular animal and has four consistent features. On the verso is a large, stock photograph underneath the phrase “Cute as an [ANIMAL].” On the recto is a paragraph with a brief overview of what makes the animal notable; a sidebar with a rundown of the animal’s Latin name, size, diet, habitat, and predators and threats; and a brightly colored pull-out paragraph highlighting a particularly intriguing fact and paired with a cartoonlike illustration from DeGrand. Animals included range from the mandatory (pygmy hippopotamus, fennec fox) to the surprising (pom-pom crab, blue dragon sea slug). Close-up photographs provide excellent detail but don’t provide a realistic scale, especially for the smaller animals, and thus the animals that are cute in part due to their size lose some of their cuteness. A concluding spread explores “the science of cute,” and potentially unfamiliar vocabulary words are highlighted throughout in bold, leading to a glossary in the back. Keating’s chipper voice always shines through (“With its perma-smile and fuzzy face, the QUOKKA is fast becoming one of the world’s best-known cutie-pies”).

A highly engaging overview that will have readers eager to learn more. (Informational picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6447-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An immersive dunk into a vast subject—and on course for shorter attention spans.

EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT SHARKS AND OTHER UNDERWATER CREATURES!

From the Everything Awesome About… series

In the wake of Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Beasts! (2019), Lowery spins out likewise frothy arrays of facts and observations about sharks, whales, giant squid, and smaller but no less extreme (or at least extremely interesting) sea life.

He provides plenty of value-added features, from overviews of oceanic zones and environments to jokes, drawing instructions, and portrait galleries suitable for copying or review. While not one to pass up any opportunity to, for instance, characterize ambergris as “whale vomit perfume” or the clownfish’s protective coating as “snot armor,” he also systematically introduces members of each of the eight orders of sharks, devotes most of a page to the shark’s electroreceptive ampullae of Lorenzini, and even sheds light on the unobvious differences between jellyfish and the Portuguese man-of-war or the reason why the blue octopus is said to have “arms” rather than “tentacles.” He also argues persuasively that sharks have gotten a bad rap (claiming that more people are killed each year by…vending machines) and closes with pleas to be concerned about plastic waste, to get involved in conservation efforts, and (cannily) to get out and explore our planet because (quoting Jacques-Yves Cousteau) “People protect what they love.” Human figures, some with brown skin, pop up occasionally to comment in the saturated color illustrations. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 45% of actual size.)

An immersive dunk into a vast subject—and on course for shorter attention spans. (bibliography, list of organizations) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-35973-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more