An important topic is treated with grace, love, and a smidgen of humor in this delightful, necessary book.

THE WATER WALKER

A picture book that tells the story of the Mother Earth Water Walkers, a group that walks to bring awareness to the importance of clean water.

Nokomis (“grandmother”) Josephine Mandamin, an Ojibwe, loves and respects Nibi (“water”), greeting it every morning with gratitude. Hearing an elder predict that clean water will soon be more precious than gold, Nokomis decides to take action. She and other women begin to walk, first around the Great Lakes (an endeavor that takes seven years), then around other bodies of water, to highlight the importance of unpolluted water. Author/illustrator Robertson, an AnishinaabeKwe, tells her true story without lecturing and fills it with bright, effectively childlike illustrations. She writes with verve and occasional gentle humor about the need to respect Nibi and to make decisions for “your grandchildren’s grandchildren.” The humor extends to the illustrations; in one image Nokomis sits with her feet in bunny slippers, using her laptop to buy new sneakers. There is a slight storyline confusion (was it Nokomis Josephine or other women who did the walking from the four points of Turtle Island?), but this is a small quibble in a book about such a large issue. The illustrated glossary with pronunciations is essential, since Robertson uses Ojibwe words throughout, a decision that enhances the book’s substance.

An important topic is treated with grace, love, and a smidgen of humor in this delightful, necessary book. (informational note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77260-038-4

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Second Story Press

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A good choice for a late fall storytime.

SNACK, SNOOZE, SKEDADDLE

HOW ANIMALS GET READY FOR WINTER

Animal behaviors change as they prepare to face the winter.

Migrate, hibernate, or tolerate. With smooth rhymes and jaunty illustrations, Salas and Gévry introduce three strategies animals use for coping with winter cold. The author’s long experience in imparting information to young readers is evident in her selection of familiar animals and in her presentation. Spread by spread she introduces her examples, preparing in fall and surviving in winter. She describes two types of migration: Hummingbirds and monarchs fly, and blue whales travel to the warmth of the south; earthworms burrow deeper into the earth. Without using technical words, she introduces four forms of hibernation—chipmunks nap and snack; bears mainly sleep; Northern wood frogs become an “icy pop,” frozen until spring; and normally solitary garter snakes snuggle together in huge masses. Those who can tolerate the winter still change behavior. Mice store food and travel in tunnels under the snow; moose grow a warmer kind of fur; the red fox dives into the snow to catch small mammals (like those mice); and humans put on warm clothes and play. The animals in the soft pastel illustrations are recognizable, more cuddly than realistic, and quite appealing; their habitats are stylized. The humans represent varied ethnicities. Each page includes two levels of text, and there’s further information in the extensive backmatter. Pair with Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees (2014).

A good choice for a late fall storytime. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2900-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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