A work to be savored by young artists and scientists.



How do animals survive and thrive in the bitter cold of winter in the northern tundra?

Sidman explains and celebrates their remarkable adaptations in a collection of carefully constructed and delightfully varied poems. The moose calf is naturally built for cold and brags about all his achievements in a lilting, rhyming verse. The tundra swans rest in the marshes and wait for the right time to migrate south as they dream lovely images of their flight. The winter bees huddle in a warm, humming mass. With lines repeated in the strict organization of a pantoum poem, the beavers dart about in complete silence in the watery space beneath the ice. In dual-voiced verse, the raven and wolf exhort each other to be watchful and successful in their hunting. Other animals, along with trees and snowflakes, take their turns in the stark beauty surrounding them. The final two poems hint at the coming of spring. Fascinating, detailed information about the subjects accompanies each poem. The poems appear on the left, with the factual material on the right of double-page spreads, while Allen’s intricate, unusual and exquisite illustrations take center stage. They are rendered in a combination of media, including large numbers of cut, inked and hand-colored linoleum blocks, which are then digitized and layered; the result is magic.

A work to be savored by young artists and scientists. (glossary) (Informational picture book/poetry. 6-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-547-90650-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

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


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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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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