Readers hoping to share beautiful, age-appropriate images and accurate terminology should look no further than this book and...

ANIMAL BABIES ON THE MOUNTAIN!

From the Animal Babies series

Animals that inhabit a mountain biome are introduced in this simple board book, one of four.

The other three examine forest, meadow, and river animals, and each volume follows the same format. An adult animal is shown on verso; its baby appears on recto. Each book features six animal pairs. The proper name for each young animal is used, which means there is some repetition of names. For example, the young of both the panda and the wolf are rightly called “cubs.” Nor are the animals exclusive to the habitat assigned by Groves. For example, spiders and “spiderlings” appear in Animal Babies in the Meadow!, but many spider varieties could also live in a forest or on a mountain. These quibbles aside, the thick pages with just one word and one animal per page make the set ideal for sharing with little ones in the naming stage of vocabulary acquisition. Groves’ striking illustrations look like prints overlaid on clean, pastel-colored backgrounds. The pages lack any gloss finishes, relying only on the iconic images of each animal, and the text is in lowercase cursive.

Readers hoping to share beautiful, age-appropriate images and accurate terminology should look no further than this book and its companions, bracing antidotes to the cuteness that floods the board-book shelves. (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-84643-881-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

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Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new...

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THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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