This nicely culled selection of facts provides glimpses of the chosen animals in an enjoyable and interesting approach.

A PANDEMONIUM OF PARROTS AND OTHER ANIMALS

Several global animals and birds organized by their collective names are briefly described along with habitats and behaviors in four-line rhymed couplets.

Digital drawings emulate a crayon/marker style and reveal a particular species arrayed in different poses across colorful double-page spreads. “A SLOTH of BEARS”: “Wrapped up warm in fuzzy suits, / they fill themselves with nuts and fruits, / then snooze the winter days away / until it’s spring, when they can play.” Brown bears, black bears, polar bears, a panda, and others are shown in trees and rivers and near ice-capped mountains, growling, waving, eating fish, and sleeping. As an added activity, several search-and-find questions ask children to carefully explore the illustrations for answers. “Who’s scratching his head?” The collective names are intriguing—who can’t love “a conspiracy of lemurs” and “a lounge of lizards”? Readers may notice that lesser-known variations are used, such as “a company of angelfish” rather than “school” and “a bouquet of hummingbirds” rather than “charm.” Two further pages ask readers to take a second look at each preceding spread, offering an additional question and image to find for each animal presented. A “Who’s Who” addendum offers an extra paragraph of information for each.

This nicely culled selection of facts provides glimpses of the chosen animals in an enjoyable and interesting approach. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0279-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Big Picture/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 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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So rocket science can be fun.

BABY LOVES SCIENTISTS

YOU CAN BE ANYTHING!

From the Baby Loves… series

What do you want to be when you grow up?

If they haven’t already thought about their futures (and they probably haven’t), toddlers and preschoolers might start planning after perusing this cheerful first guide to scientific careers. Plump-cheeked, wide-eyed tykes with various skin and hair colors introduce different professions, including zoologist, meteorologist, aerospace engineer, and environmental scientist, depicted with cues to tip readers off to what the jobs entail. The simple text presents the sometimes-long, tongue-twisting career names while helpfully defining them in comprehensible terms. For example, an environmental scientist “helps take care of our world,” and a zoologist is defined as someone who “studies how animals behave.” Scientists in general are identified as those who “study, learn, and solve problems.” Such basic language not only benefits youngsters, but also offers adults sharing the book easy vocabulary with which to expand on conversations with kids about the professions. The title’s ebullient appearance is helped along by the typography: The jobs’ names are set in all caps, printed in color and in a larger font than the surrounding text, and emphasized with exclamation points. Additionally, the buoyant watercolors feature clues to what scientists in these fields work with, such as celestial bodies for astronomers. The youngest listeners won’t necessarily get all of this, but the book works as a rudimentary introduction to STEM topics and a shoutout to scientific endeavors.

So rocket science can be fun. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62354-149-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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