Nevertheless, Kurki’s attractive and colorful illustrations and the wealth of information in this unusual bird book will...

READ REVIEW

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION'S WORLD OF BIRDS

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE

This introductory guide is a smorgasbord of information about the more common species of birds.

The beginning spreads introduce children to habitat and critical bird identifiers, including size, behavior, plumage and song. The left-hand page of each subsequent spread profiles one bird with a magazine-style patchwork of interesting facts, trivia and even poems about the bird. The opposite page includes more fascinating tidbits and key characteristics of the featured bird and brief descriptions of other related birds, grouped by habitat. (Did you know the American robin eats 68 worms a day or that the barn owl has asymmetrical earholes?) While clearly intended for North American readers, the book also profiles several Eurasian birds, among them the British blue tit, magpie, golden oriole and Eurasian jay. This may cause confusion or at least disappointment, since North American readers are highly unlikely ever to encounter these birds. The European golden oriole seems a particularly awkward choice, as it is pictured alongside the North American Baltimore oriole, which is not related to the Eurasian species but is a member of the blackbird family.

Nevertheless, Kurki’s attractive and colorful illustrations and the wealth of information in this unusual bird book will encourage children to observe the birds around them, whichever continent they may inhabit. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-57912-969-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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A hopeful and helpful addition to any nature library.

FOLLOW THOSE ZEBRAS

SOLVING A MIGRATION MYSTERY

From the Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries series

Scientists solve the mystery of a disappearing zebra herd.

A herd of plains zebra regularly vanishes from the Chobe River flood plains in Namibia and Botswana during the dry season, but until Robin Naidoo and other scientists fitted some of these animals with GPS trackers, no one knew where they went or why. Markle (The Great Shark Rescue, 2019, etc.) ably describes the species, its habitat in the Serengeti Plain, the phenomenon of migration, the science research, and its surprising results: a “record-holding zebra migration” to the grasses in Botswana’s Nxai Pan National Park, which have extra nutrients for the mares and the foals they bear there. Her clear explanations are accompanied by well-chosen and informatively captioned photographs from a variety of sources. The lively design includes a striking zebra-coat background surrounding boxes with additional information and images. Maps help American readers locate this migration in southern Africa. One that includes the tracked migration routes of eight females demonstrates the astonishing directness of the 155-mile journey undertaken by seven (the meandering route taken by the eighth is unexplained). The author concludes with concerns about the possible effects of the changing climate and how conservation groups are planning to help the zebras so that they can continue to travel unimpeded and find water on their way.

A hopeful and helpful addition to any nature library. (author’s note, fast facts, glossary, source notes, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-3837-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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