An intriguing approach for animal-fact enthusiasts.



From the World of Weird Animals series

Seventeen of the world's oddest creatures share a single characteristic: their pink coloration.

For the opening title in her new series, Keating features weird and wonderful animals ranging from a deep-sea fish made of “gelatinous goo” to a tiny barrel-sponge occupant called a hairy squat lobster. In between, there are relatively familiar species such as hippopotamuses, roseate spoonbills, and Amazon river dolphins and more exotic ones such as the orchid mantis, pink fairy armadillo, and southern blind snake. Each double-page spread introduces a single animal with a photograph on the left and information on the facing page. A paragraph of description is followed by another about some intriguing aspect—perhaps the animal’s aposematic coloration that warns predators off or its hermaphroditic habits. This second paragraph is illustrated with a cartoon and set off with a blobby design feature that repeats in the colorful page backgrounds. Sidebars offer fast facts including name, Latin name, size, diet, habitat, and predators and threats. These texts will challenge the intended audience. They’re full of interesting but likely unfamiliar terms: carrion, deforestation, eusocial, negative phototaxis. These are printed in boldface in the text and defined in context and in a glossary. There are helpful suggestions for further research. Habitat ranges on an unlabeled world map are keyed to an alphabetical list of the animals, but there’s no index.

An intriguing approach for animal-fact enthusiasts. (Informational picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-553-51227-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face.


From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 1

Four misunderstood villains endeavor to turn over a new leaf…or a new rap sheet in Blabey's frenzied romp.

As readers open the first page of this early chapter book, Mr. Wolf is right there to greet them, bemoaning his reputation. "Just because I've got BIG POINTY TEETH and RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS and I occasionally like to dress up like an OLD LADY, that doesn't mean… / … I'm a BAD GUY." To prove this very fact, Mr. Wolf enlists three equally slandered friends into the Good Guys Club: Mr. Snake (aka the Chicken Swallower), Mr. Piranha (aka the Butt Biter), and Mr. Shark (aka Jaws). After some convincing from Mr. Wolf, the foursome sets off determined to un-smirch their names (and reluctantly curbing their appetites). Although these predators find that not everyone is ready to be at the receiving end of their helpful efforts, they use all their Bad Guy know-how to manage a few hilarious good deeds. Blabey has hit the proverbial nail on the head, kissed it full on the mouth, and handed it a stick of Acme dynamite. With illustrations that startle in their manic comedy and deadpan direct address and with a narrative that follows four endearingly sardonic characters trying to push past (sometimes successfully) their fear-causing natures, this book instantly joins the classic ranks of Captain Underpants and The Stinky Cheese Man.

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91240-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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