Facts to precede sweet slumbering.

SLEEP

HOW NATURE GETS ITS REST

Simple sentences and softly colored, detailed drawings offer facts about the sleeping habits of 19 animals, both domesticated and wild.

After showing a sleeping tiger on its cover and a hibernating bear on the title page, the book opens to a familiar domestic scene: a dog and cat curled up together on a multicolored, braided rug. Muted colors add to the tranquility. The large type underneath says on the verso, “Cats and dogs sleep curled up…” and finishes on the recto, under a picture of the two animals tussling about: “when they aren’t playing.” As with all the art, the animals are both realistic and imbued with a sweetness that strikes a perfect chord for a bedtime story. For each animal surveyed the text points out just a fact or two about that animal’s sleeping habits. Cleverly, the text for the upside-down-sleeping sloth is literally upside down. The open question at the end—with its appealing, imaginative illustrations—encourages readers to speculate about animals’ dreams; it is a subtle way to continue the soporific mood into the realm of human dreams. The majority of the book is a lovely bedtime story for the very young. Older readers will enjoy the backmatter, which expands on the earlier information and adds interesting tidbits, such as the fact that giraffes’ necks have the same number of vertebrae as humans’ necks (seven).

Facts to precede sweet slumbering. (Informational picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0798-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S BUG ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere.

HELLO, DINOSAURS!

From the Animal Facts and Flaps series

Colorful, fun, and informative guide for pint-sized dinosaur enthusiasts.

Kid-friendly and more informative than most dino books for tots, this lift-the-flap dinosaur book is a great next step for any kid with an interest in the subject. Each double-page panorama—occasionally folding out to three or even four pages wide—is organized around types of dinosaurs or habitats. While most featured dinosaurs are land dwellers, prehistoric reptiles of the sea and sky appear as well. Dinosaurs are rendered in bright colors on a white background in a childlike style that makes even Tyrannosaurus rex not too terrifying. Make no mistake, though; the king of the dinosaurs is clearly labeled “CARNIVORE.” Folding T. rex’s head back reveals a black-and-white handsaw, to which the text likens its enormous, sharp teeth. Another marginal illustration, captioned, “Watch out! T. rex is looking for its lunch,” shows a Triceratops specimen on a plate. Yet another reads, “Crushed dinosaur bones have been found in T. rex poop!” Several racially diverse kids appear in each scene, like toddler scientists variously observing, inspecting, and riding on the dinosaurs depicted. In addition to teaching the difference between herbivores and carnivores, the book also conveys a sense of the scale of these prehistoric beasts: Diplodocus is two school buses long, a Triceratops adult is the size of an elephant, and a Velociraptor is the size of a turkey, for example.

Sure to appeal to budding paleontologists everywhere. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0809-2

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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