Next book



An excellent introduction to a lesser-known trailblazer.

Although readers young and old will likely recognize the name Jane Goodall from her work with chimps, giraffologist Anne Innis Dagg has been less well known—until now.

Born in 1933, Anne was introduced to giraffes on a trip to the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Readers learn that the experience sparked a lifetime of love for the tallest herbivore and propelled Anne to seek out everything she could about giraffes when she was back home in Toronto. Sadly, the public library had no materials on giraffes, and the animals weren’t covered in her school lessons. That was just the beginning of many educational hurdles, as giraffes were not part of many college zoology areas of study, either. So in 1956, Anne traveled to South Africa to study giraffes at Fleur de Lys Ranch. Although her studies were fruitful, educational disappointments continued as universities at that time were reluctant to hire women professors. Undeterred, Anne forged her own path as an author of numerous books. The story is compelling, and detailed backmatter—including an interview with Dagg, a thorough bibliography, and an author’s note with information on apartheid that contextualizes the scientist’s time in South Africa—makes this book a strong choice for those doing reports or curious to learn more. Upbeat artwork rendered in colored pencil and Photoshop uses earth tones to depict the giraffes in their natural setting. Anne presents as White; background characters are racially diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

An excellent introduction to a lesser-known trailblazer. (Picture-book biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0495-8

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

Next book


From the What if You Had . . .? series

Another playful imagination-stretcher.

Markle invites children to picture themselves living in the homes of 11 wild animals.

As in previous entries in the series, McWilliam’s illustrations of a diverse cast of young people fancifully imitating wild creatures are paired with close-up photos of each animal in a like natural setting. The left side of one spread includes a photo of a black bear nestling in a cozy winter den, while the right side features an image of a human one cuddled up with a bear. On another spread, opposite a photo of honeybees tending to newly hatched offspring, a human “larva” lounges at ease in a honeycomb cell, game controller in hand, as insect attendants dish up goodies. A child with an eye patch reclines on an orb weaver spider’s web, while another wearing a head scarf constructs a castle in a subterranean chamber with help from mound-building termites. Markle adds simple remarks about each type of den, nest, or burrow and basic facts about its typical residents, then closes with a reassuring reminder to readers that they don’t have to live as animals do, because they will “always live where people live.” A select gallery of traditional homes, from igloo and yurt to mudhif, follows a final view of the young cast waving from a variety of differently styled windows.

Another playful imagination-stretcher. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781339049052

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

Next book


Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses.

An NBA star pays tribute to the influence of his grandfather.

In the same vein as his Long Shot (2009), illustrated by Frank Morrison, this latest from Paul prioritizes values and character: “My granddad Papa Chilly had dreams that came true,” he writes, “so maybe if I listen and watch him, / mine will too.” So it is that the wide-eyed Black child in the simply drawn illustrations rises early to get to the playground hoops before anyone else, watches his elder working hard and respecting others, hears him cheering along with the rest of the family from the stands during games, and recalls in a prose afterword that his grandfather wasn’t one to lecture but taught by example. Paul mentions in both the text and the backmatter that Papa Chilly was the first African American to own a service station in North Carolina (his presumed dream) but not that he was killed in a robbery, which has the effect of keeping the overall tone positive and the instructional content one-dimensional. Figures in the pictures are mostly dark-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Blandly inspirational fare made to evoke equally shrink-wrapped responses. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-81003-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

Close Quickview