Full of the eww factor, up-to-date facts and kid appeal, this splendid, gory introduction is not for the faint of heart!...

NEIGHBORHOOD SHARKS

HUNTING WITH THE GREAT WHITES OF CALIFORNIA'S FARALLON ISLANDS

Every fall, great white sharks return to feed on the seals and sea lions that migrate to the Farallon Islands just off the San Francisco coast, providing an opportunity for scientific study.

Combining informative text with expressive paintings, done in ink, pencil, watercolor and gouache, Roy explains how these apex predators function. The endpapers set the stage, looking out toward the distant islands through the Golden Gate Bridge in front and back at the California shoreline from high over the islands at the end. In an early series of stunning paintings, the shark’s meal is revealed in three spreads before the wordless fourth shows the strike; the water swirls, and the seal is captured in the shark’s toothy mouth. Bloody water surrounds the shark in the next picture. Subsequent pages explain why the seal is a perfect meal and highlight the shark’s streamlined body, warmed blood, superior vision, endless teeth, and projectile jaws that contribute to its success as a hunter. For this debut picture book, the author joined researchers who tag and follow these sharks, and she’s distilled their findings in a way that’s sure to attract young readers. The backmatter provides further information, sources and suggested reading.

Full of the eww factor, up-to-date facts and kid appeal, this splendid, gory introduction is not for the faint of heart! (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59643-874-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: David Macaulay Studio/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure.

THE PIRATE PIG

It’s not truffles but doubloons that tickle this porcine wayfarer’s fancy.

Funke and Meyer make another foray into chapter-book fare after Emma and the Blue Genie (2014). Here, mariner Stout Sam and deckhand Pip eke out a comfortable existence on Butterfly Island ferrying cargo to and fro. Life is good, but it takes an unexpected turn when a barrel washes ashore containing a pig with a skull-and-crossbones pendant around her neck. It soon becomes clear that this little piggy, dubbed Julie, has the ability to sniff out treasure—lots of it—in the sea. The duo is pleased with her skills, but pride goeth before the hog. Stout Sam hands out some baubles to the local children, and his largess attracts the unwanted attention of Barracuda Bill and his nasty minions. Now they’ve pignapped Julie, and it’s up to the intrepid sailors to save the porker and their own bacon. The succinct word count meets the needs of kids looking for early adventure fare. The tale is slight, bouncy, and amusing, though Julie is never the piratical buccaneer the book’s cover seems to suggest. Meanwhile, Meyer’s cheery watercolors are as comfortable diagramming the different parts of a pirate vessel as they are rendering the dread pirate captain himself.

A nifty high-seas caper for chapter-book readers with a love of adventure and a yearning for treasure. (Adventure. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 23, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37544-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2015

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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

A WHALE OF THE WILD

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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