Lush illustrations and disguised flaps make this one worthwhile.

WHO'S HIDING IN THE RAIN FOREST?

From the Who's Hiding series

A fact-filled, lift-the-flap discovery of animals living in the rainforest.

The book begins in the morning, with a look at the rainforest canopy, the illustration a twist of vines, wide leaves, and branches. There are animals readily visible, with many more below the camouflaged flaps, which are cut to match the rough outlines of flora and fauna. Each page turn moves readers through the day and a different part of the rainforest, ending with nighttime. Readers will enjoy hunting for the shaped flaps and discovering the mystery of what is hiding beneath. The undersides of all of the flaps reveal facts that range from brief and obvious—“Toucans have large, colorful beaks”—to lengthier and more interesting observations, such as information about how long manatees can hold their breath and when they surface. The illustrations are very detailed, complete with miniature markings on fish, snakes, and jaguar spots, suiting this to the older edge of the audience. The only drawback is that some animals are so small their impact is lost, as with the piranhas and their “razor-sharp teeth” which are difficult to discern on the colorful fish. Only the animals below the flaps are identified, a missed opportunity to label all that appear for readers’ benefit. Companion title Who’s Hiding on the Savanna? follows the same morning-to-nighttime format to introduce animals of the African savanna.

Lush illustrations and disguised flaps make this one worthwhile. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1010-1

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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WORLD WITHOUT FISH

The author of Cod (1997) successfully provides readers with a frightening look at the looming destruction of the oceans. Brief sections in graphic-novel format follow a young girl, Ailat, and her father over a couple of decades as the condition of the ocean grows increasingly dire, eventually an orange, slimy mess mostly occupied by jellyfish and leatherback turtles. At the end, Ailat’s young daughter doesn’t even know what the word fish means. This is juxtaposed against nonfiction chapters with topics including types of fishing equipment and the damage each causes, a history of the destruction of the cod and its consequences, the international politics of the fishing industry and the effects of pollution and global warming. The final chapter lists of some actions readers could take to attempt to reverse the damage: not eating certain types of fish, joining environmental groups, writing to government officials, picketing seafood stores that sell endangered fish, etc. Whenever an important point is to be made, font size increases dramatically, sometimes so that a single sentence fills a page—attention-getting but distractingly so. While it abounds with information, sadly, no sources are cited, undermining reliability. Additionally, there are no index and no recommended bibliography for further research, diminishing this effort’s value as a resource. Depressing and scary yet grimly entertaining. (Nonfiction/graphic-novel hybrid. 10 & up)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5607-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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PLANTING A RAINBOW

LAP-SIZED BOARD BOOK

From the artist who created last year's shoutingly vivid Growing Vegetable Soup, a companion volume about raising a flower garden. "Mom and I" plant bulbs (even rhizomes), choose seeds, buy seedlings, and altogether grow about 20 species. Unlike the vegetables, whose juxtaposed colors were almost painfully bright, the flowers make a splendidly gaudy array, first taken together and then interestingly grouped by color—the pages vary in size here so that colored strips down the right-hand side combine to make a broad rainbow. Bold, stylish, and indubitably inspired by real flowers, there is still (as with its predecessor) a link missing between these illustrations with their large, solid areas of color and the real experience of a garden. The stylized forms are almost more abstractions than representations (and why is the daisy yellow?). There is also little sense of the relative times for growing and blooming—everything seems to come almost at once. Perhaps the trouble is that Ehlert has captured all the color of the garden, but not its subtle gradations or the light, the space, the air, and the continual movement and change.

Pub Date: March 21, 1988

ISBN: 0152063048

Page Count: 66

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988

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