Facts to precede sweet slumbering.

READ REVIEW

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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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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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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