Read aloud or alone, this will heighten anyone’s appreciation for “Nature…the ultimate artist.” (author’s note, further...

READ REVIEW

HIDDEN WILDLIFE

HOW ANIMALS HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT

Animals’ shapes, coloring, and behaviors allow them to conceal and reveal themselves.

Arnosky uses his considerable artistic talents to demonstrate how animal camouflage works using examples from across the animal kingdom and throughout the year. Acrylic paintings (including foldout spreads) and occasional pencil studies show animals in their natural habitats, where colors, patterns, and the play of light work to allow them to seem to vanish. He suggests looking at these paintings from across the room to see how a Florida panther can vanish in the grass or a moose into a forest. He uses familiar examples such as a spotted fawn on a forest floor or a female blackbird in the reeds as well as surprising ones: a bittern stretched tall like the grasses around it; a scorpion fish blending in color and texture with its perch on a mound of coral. He discusses the role of the countershading—dark above and light below—so often found in birds and marine animals. Pencil drawings show how some insect shapes mimic parts of plants and how a fawn’s spots will disappear over time. Loosely organized into chapters with short introductions, his examples are captioned with short explanatory paragraphs. Most come from his own observations and experiences over many years of exploring and researching the natural world.

Read aloud or alone, this will heighten anyone’s appreciation for “Nature…the ultimate artist.” (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2097-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

St. Patrick’s Day will never be the same; beware, though: leprechauns who aren’t caught often take revenge by making messes.

HOW TO BUILD A LEPRECHAUN TRAP

Devious young scientists, engineers, and crafters will be solidly occupied with the 16 traps, three snacks, and 10 leprechaun tricks that are described here.

Each project comes with a level of difficulty, leprechaun appeal meter, list of materials, its STEAM connection (in a separate box listing topics touched upon and extensions), and numbered steps. The STEAM connections vary widely. Too many of the early projects that involve a stick propping up a trap lid have the same STEAM connection. Later projects, including a Leprechaun Run and a Marshmallow Catapult that talk about potential and kinetic energy and a Marshmallow Bridge that is heavy on the engineering piece, have more solid STEAM connections. “Did You Know” featurettes offer fascinating facts: Ireland has more sheep than people, and leprechauns used to wear red, not green. Readers will know to call a grown-up when they see the words “adult supervision” underlined in the directions, which also include “messy alerts.” The artwork is a mix of photographs, line drawings, and cartoons. Only two completed projects are photographed; the rest are digital illustrations. While this allows kids scope for their imaginations, some may need more help with the steps than the cartoons provide (particularly with the catapult). Photos show an array of diverse children working on the projects, although the disembodied hand holding scissors shown frequently is always white.

St. Patrick’s Day will never be the same; beware, though: leprechauns who aren’t caught often take revenge by making messes. (Nonfiction. 4-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6388-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more