Supported by helpful backmatter including a simple map, this will interest animal-fact lovers and primary classroom teachers...

MEET MY FAMILY!

ANIMAL BABIES AND THEIR FAMILIES

Animal babies from around the world describe their families.

This information-packed title not only describes varied family structures and child-rearing practices, it gives the proper names of the children for each of 23 species and, for nine, the word for “mother” or “father” rendered in the language appropriate to the animal’s home. Appealing digital paintings show animals, usually a parent and offspring, in their usual habitat. Set directly on the image in thin but readable type is the animal child’s statement: “I’m in charge of all my meals” (white rhino calf); “My dad gives piggybacks” (poison dart frog tadpole); “I’m a super sister” (meerkat pup). The examples come from around the world; the parental behaviors represent the wide variety seen among humans. Often a spread will show contrasts: beavers live in one place, orangutans “move around a bunch”; sharks look just like their parents, ladybugs are markedly different as larvae and pupae. For same-sex or adoptive families, the author offers one-of-a-kind or unusual examples: the male chinstrap penguin pair from a New York zoo; a dog named Guddi who adopted a monkey; female albatross parenting pairs in Hawaii. She concludes with a spread of diverse human families of varying and sometimes contrasting colors, ethnicities, and composition.

Supported by helpful backmatter including a simple map, this will interest animal-fact lovers and primary classroom teachers alike. (glossary, map and key, author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-2532-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A delightful story of love and hope.

OUR SUBWAY BABY

Families are formed everywhere—including large metropolitan mass-transit systems!

Baby Kevin, initially known as “Danny ACE Doe,” was found in the New York City’s 14th Street subway station, which serves the A-C-E lines, by one of his future fathers, Danny. Kevin’s other father, Pete (author Mercurio), serves as the narrator, explaining how the two men came to add the newborn to their family. Readers are given an abridged version of the story from Danny and Pete’s point of view as they work to formally adopt Kevin and bring him home in time for Christmas. The story excels at highlighting the determination of loving fathers while still including realistic moments of hesitation, doubt, and fear that occur for new and soon-to-be parents. The language is mindful of its audience (for example using “piggy banks” instead of “bank accounts” to discuss finances) while never patronizing young readers. Espinosa’s posterlike artwork—which presents the cleanest New York readers are ever likely to see—extends the text and makes use of unexpected angles to heighten emotional scenes and moments of urgency. The diversity of skin tones, ages, and faces (Danny and Pete both present white, and Kevin has light brown skin) befits the Big Apple. Family snapshots and a closing author’s note emphasize that the most important thing in any family is love. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11.3-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 43% of actual size.)

A delightful story of love and hope. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-42754-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president.

HONEY, THE DOG WHO SAVED ABE LINCOLN

A slice of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood life is explored through a fictionalized anecdote about his dog Honey.

When 7-year-old Abe rescues a golden-brown dog with a broken leg, he takes the pup home to the Lincolns’ cabin in Knob Creek, Kentucky. Honey follows Abe everywhere, including trailing after his owner into a deep cave. When Abe gets stuck between rocks, Honey goes for help and leads a search party back to the trapped boy for a dramatic rescue. The source for this story was a book incorporating the memories of Abe’s boyhood friend, explained in an author’s note. The well-paced text includes invented dialogue attributed to Abe and his parents. Abe’s older sister, Sarah, is not mentioned in the text and is shown in the illustrations as a little girl younger than Abe. All the characters present white save for one black man in the rescue crew. An oversized format and multiple double-page spreads provide plenty of space for cartoon-style illustrations of the Lincoln cabin, the surrounding countryside, and the spooky cave where Abe was trapped. This story focuses on the incident in the cave and Abe’s rescue; a more complete look at Lincoln’s life is included in an appended timeline and the author’s note, both of which include references to Lincoln’s kindness to animals and to other pets he owned.

This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-269900-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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