Encouraging kids to get their hands wet—literally—this new offering from the ever-energetic Arnosky introduces them to the geology and flora and fauna of one of our landscape’s more accessible ecosystems, the brook. Accessible they may be, but still full of wonders for children to discover: rocks, insects, wildflowers, fish and other critters. The collegial direct address advises readers not to take chances—“Because any water can be deeper than it looks, even the tiniest brooks should be approached carefully”—while still empowering them to get up close to nature—“You can pick up any nymphs you find. They won’t bite.” Characteristically delicate watercolors depict sun-dappled brooks, with exquisite details providing close-up views of the tinier brook denizens kids may encounter. Readers will learn about the life cycle of mayflies and caddis flies, get a quick lesson on sketching wildflowers and receive a primer on tracking. With its emphasis on getting out and doing, this is the perfect antidote to “Nature Deficit Disorder” and should help prepare grown-ups and kids alike for their own explorations of local waterways. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-525-47716-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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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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Mercy Watson, beloved porcine wonder, meets Francine Poulet, “the best animal control officer in the history of the world.” When Mercy discovers freshly planted pansies next door, what can she do but eat them? Never mind that the pansies belong to the next-door neighbors, pig-loving Baby and her pig-hating sister, Eugenia. When the furious Eugenia sees the incriminating pansy petals on Mercy’s chin, her anger gets the best of her and she reports Mercy to Animal Control. The officer, beak-nosed Poulet, is energized by the challenge of adding a new animal to her life capture list. DiCamillo’s comic timing coupled with Van Dusen’s familiar, over-the-top gouache depictions of the emotional Mercy and her caring, buttered-toast-bearing “parents” make this a welcome addition to the popular series. Fifteen very short action-packed chapters make this a fine step up for readers ready for a slightly more challenging read than Henry and Mudge. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3265-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2008

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