WHO'S HIDING IN THE RAIN FOREST?

From the Who's Hiding series

Lush illustrations and disguised flaps make this one worthwhile.

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

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

VOLCANOES

Erupt into applause for this picture book of the first magma-tude.

A deceptively simple, visually appealing, comprehensive explanation of volcanoes.

Gibbons packs an impressive number of facts into this browsable nonfiction picture book. The text begins with the awe of a volcanic eruption: “The ground begins to rumble…ash, hot lava and rock, and gases shoot up into the air.” Diagrams of the Earth’s structural layers—inner and outer core, mantle, and crust—undergird a discussion about why volcanoes occur. Simple maps of the Earth’s seven major tectonic plates show where volcanoes are likeliest to develop. Other spreads with bright, clearly labeled illustrations cover intriguing subtopics: four types of volcanoes and how they erupt; underwater volcanoes; well-known volcanoes and historic volcanic eruptions around the world; how to be safe in the vicinity of a volcano; and the work of scientists studying volcanoes and helping to predict eruptions. A page of eight facts about volcanoes wraps things up. The straightforward, concise prose will be easy for young readers to follow. As always, Gibbons manages to present a great deal of information in a compact form.

Erupt into applause for this picture book of the first magma-tude. (Nonfiction picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4569-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

I LIKE THE FARM

From the I Like To Read series

Simple, encouraging text, charming photographs, straightforward, unpretentious diversity, and adorable animals—what’s not to...

This entry-level early reader/picture book pairs children with farm animals.

Using a simple, effective template—a full-page photograph on the recto page and a bordered spot photo above the text on the verso—Rotner delivers an amiable picture book that presents racially and ethnically diverse kids interacting (mostly in the cuddling department) with the adult and baby animals typically found on a farm. Chickens, chicks, cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, pigs, piglets, cows, and calves are all represented. While a couple of double-page spreads show the larger adult animals—pigs and cows—without a child, most of the rest portray a delighted child hugging a compliant critter. The text, simple and repetitive, changes only the name for the animal depicted in the photo on that spread: “I like the cat”; “I like the piglet.” In this way, reading comprehension for new readers is supported in an enjoyable, appealing way, since the photo of the animal reinforces the new word. It’s hard to go wrong combining cute kids with adorable animals, but special kudos must be given for the very natural way Rotner has included diversity—it’s especially gratifying to see diversity normalized and validated early, at the same time that reading comprehension is taught.

Simple, encouraging text, charming photographs, straightforward, unpretentious diversity, and adorable animals—what’s not to like? (Picture book/early reader. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3833-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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