Unable to compete with the many strong bird books available for children

READ REVIEW

BIRD WORDS

SNIPPETS AND SNAPSHOTS OF OUR FEATHERED FRIENDS

Photographs of 50 birds, one or a pair per page, represent bird species from varying geographic areas and habitats.

The birds range from common North American species such as finches and sparrows to more exotic or remote species, including blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Galápagos hawks, Megallenic penguins, and sulphur-crested cockatoos. While the photographs are striking and serve to illustrate the range of species of birds on the Earth, the pages do not provide enough information to engage. The book begins with a few insipid lines in large type, presumably intended to appeal to beginning readers, “All birds have wings. But not all fly. Some birds swim. Others try.” Each successive page shows one bird, usually identified by a single word and an adjective, sometimes alliterative but sometimes not. The birds are not precisely identified by species or location of origin; this leads to confusion when two birds of the same family but different species are shown and only one is identified, as in “spotted towhee” and “towhee.” The descriptive adjective often seems arbitrary, not unique to that bird: “Spry Sparrow”; “Mysterious Mallard.” This book appears to be a vehicle for the author’s photography, with education a lower priority.

Unable to compete with the many strong bird books available for children . (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61822-055-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Ashland Creek Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Adults wishing to expand the worldviews of their young charges beyond Eurocentric interpretations will find plenty of visual...

RAPUNZEL

From the Once Upon a World series

A retelling of the classic fairy tale with India as its setting.

This latest addition to the Once Upon A World series tells the well-known story of the maiden with beautiful long tresses locked away in a tower by an evil witch and the prince who falls in love with her. As with Perkins’ Cinderella (illustrated by Sandra Equihua, 2016) and Snow White (illustrated by Misa Saburi, 2016), the text has been simplified for a younger audience, and the distinguishing twist here is its setting in India. The mixed-media illustrations of plants, animals, village life, and, of course, Rapunzel, the witch, and the prince come alive in warm, saturated colors. Other than the visuals, there is little to differentiate the story from traditional tellings. As always, it is still the prince who will eventually lead Rapunzel to her salvation by taking her to his kingdom far away from the witch, but that is the nature of fairy tales. The only quibble with this book and indeed with this series is the board-book format. Given the fact that the audience most likely to enjoy it is beyond the board-book age, a full-size book would have done more justice to the vibrant artwork.

Adults wishing to expand the worldviews of their young charges beyond Eurocentric interpretations will find plenty of visual delights in this one, though they’ll wish it were bigger. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9072-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Lots of detail and complex vocabulary mean most young children won’t linger past check-in at this hotel; older children will...

BUG HOTEL

Bearing the tagline “A lift-the-flap book of discovery,” this board book for older children is meant to inspire garden explorations.

Its inviting house-shaped design with multiple peep-hole windows hints at what children will find inside. The first page explains that “A bug hotel is a multistory homemade habitat where creepy crawlies of all shapes and sizes can find a place to stay!” The benefits of providing accommodations for six different garden critters are then detailed, one per double-page spread. Information about each creature’s ideal environment and how humans can foster that habitat is behind the largest flap on each spread, which also includes a cutout through which the insect can be seen. “Snails come out mainly at night, so a dark and protected habitat helps to keep them cool, happy and safe from predators….” Smaller flaps discuss characteristics of each critter—pollination for bees, metamorphosis for butterflies, etc. The final spread reviews the various materials needed to attract different bugs to the garden. However, there are no instructions included or even websites to consult to assist readers in actually constructing a bug hotel. Birdhouse, published simultaneously using the same format, is somewhat more successful, possibly because birdhouses are more common.

Lots of detail and complex vocabulary mean most young children won’t linger past check-in at this hotel; older children will still need help from a caregiver or teacher . (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61067-766-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more