Smartly focused on characteristics that will most interest young animal admirers, this is an attractive addition to a...

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TOOTH & CLAW

THE WILD WORLD OF BIG PREDATORS

Powerful acrylic paintings and detailed pencil sketches introduce awe-inspiring predators whose jaws and claws support their carnivorous diets.

In this sixth album in a series that began with Wild Tracks (2008), Arnosky presents five species of cats, four types of bears and gray wolves. The naturalist covers size, shape and appearance; where these remarkable creatures live; what and how they eat; and how they hunt for their prey. Each section includes a full-page painting of the animal in the wild opposite a page of conversational explanatory text and smaller, labeled sketches. Four fold-out pages provide the opportunity for even more dramatic spreads: a pride of African lions, two heading toward a herd of zebras; a close-up of a sunlit cheetah contrasted with a leopard hiding in a tree; a threatening grizzly bear’s sharp teeth and claws. Pencil sketches show the animals’ skulls and sharp shearing teeth, the different spot patterns of jaguars, leopards and cheetahs, and animal tracks. A sketch of an anaconda’s skull offers an interesting comparison. Occasionally the author describes a personal experience, though for the most part, he observed these animals in captivity, as readers will. Supporting this appealing introduction are solid suggestions for further reading about most species.

Smartly focused on characteristics that will most interest young animal admirers, this is an attractive addition to a popular series. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8624-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

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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