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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An inspiring call to action for all who care about our interconnected planet.

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WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS

In this tribute to Native resilience, Indigenous author-and-illustrator team Lindstrom and Goade invite readers to stand up for environmental justice.

“Water is the first medicine,” a young, unnamed protagonist reflects as she wades into a river with her grandmother. “We come from water.” Stunning illustrations, rich in symbolism from the creators’ respective Ojibwe and Tlingit/Haida lineages, bring the dark-haired, brown-skinned child’s narrative to life as she recounts an Anishinaabe prophecy: One day, a “black snake” will terrorize her community and threaten water, animals, and land. “Now the black snake is here,” the narrator proclaims, connecting the legend to the present-day threat of oil pipelines being built on Native lands. Though its image is fearsome, younger audiences aren’t likely to be frightened due to Goade’s vibrant, uplifting focus on collective power. Awash in brilliant colors and atmospheric studies of light, the girl emphasizes the importance of protecting “those who cannot fight for themselves” and understanding that on Earth, “we are all related.” Themes of ancestry, community responsibility, and shared inheritance run throughout. Where the brave protagonist is depicted alongside her community, the illustrations feature people of all ages, skin tones, and clothing styles. Lindstrom’s powerful message includes non-Native and Native readers alike: “We are stewards of the Earth. We are water protectors.”

An inspiring call to action for all who care about our interconnected planet. (author’s note, glossary, illustrator’s note, Water Protector pledge) (Picture book. 5-12)

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-20355-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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