An excellent introduction to habitats.

READ REVIEW

WHERE IN THE WILD

Several animals—including a sea horse, a camel, and a meerkat—talk in rhyming couplets about themselves and their different, respective habitats.

Large lettering on the verso of the first lush, colorful, collagelike double-page spread—this one featuring river-loving flora and fauna—proclaims: “Across the world, on land and sea, / Are creatures living wild and free. / And each one has a precious home— / A ‘habitat,’ its place to roam.” On the recto, an otter explains why it considers the river its home and then tells a little about its own characteristics. Every habitat mentioned similarly features a rhyming introduction followed by a denizen’s direct address. Scansion is perfect throughout, and the verses give accurate facts about nature—other than the poetic license that requires a golden eagle to smile for the sake of a rhyme. The layout features this bonus: a cutout window in each spread that cleverly shows an animal in one habitat that can adapt to the habitat described on the adjacent spread. These creatures receive an additional, prose gloss. River, rainforest, savanna, desert, forest, plain, mountain/evergreen forest, tundra, and ocean each receive one double-page spread of habitat glory—glorious indeed in color and layout—with predators safely distanced from prey. One caveat: The narrating animal is not always immediately obvious, so the youngest viewers will need adult help in animal identification. Endnotes urge protection of ecosystems.

An excellent introduction to habitats. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68010-104-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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There are better fish in the board-book sea.

SHARKS

From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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