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KARL'S NEW BEAK

3-D PRINTING BUILDS A BIRD A BETTER LIFE

For fans of animal-rescue accounts and 21st-century technology.

Using a 3-D printer, zoo employees construct a prosthesis for an injured bird.

At the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., staff members are concerned with the feeding difficulties of Karl, an Abyssinian ground hornbill living in the cheetah exhibit. Hoping to restore his ability to eat normally so they can breed him, they come up with a solution for his broken bottom beak. They mend it using a pattern from a museum skeleton and 3-D printing technology. A number of recent titles for young readers describe the work of humans to make lives better for injured or abandoned animals. Unusually, here the special focus is on the process: the complicated and painstaking repair of Karl’s lower beak, including the construction of its replacement part. Thoughtful design makes this very clear: Illustrations cleverly combine actual photographs with drawings and diagrams, printed in blue and white like blueprints. Readers see Karl in his enclosure, before-and-after close-ups, and the veterinarian, exhibits specialist, and exhibit curator (all white-presenting) who work together to restore the beak. There are also photos of the printing process as well as sanding and gluing the new bill. The straightforward text introduces the bird, explains how hornbills use their beaks in the wild, and follows the process step by step. Backmatter includes more facts about hornbills in the wild and about Karl in particular as well as a glossary with unusually helpful definitions.

For fans of animal-rescue accounts and 21st-century technology. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68446-026-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Editions

Review Posted Online: Dec. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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HUMMINGBIRD

A sweet and endearing feathered migration.

A relationship between a Latina grandmother and her mixed-race granddaughter serves as the frame to depict the ruby-throated hummingbird migration pattern.

In Granny’s lap, a girl is encouraged to “keep still” as the intergenerational pair awaits the ruby-throated hummingbirds with bowls of water in their hands. But like the granddaughter, the tz’unun—“the word for hummingbird in several [Latin American] languages”—must soon fly north. Over the next several double-page spreads, readers follow the ruby-throated hummingbird’s migration pattern from Central America and Mexico through the United States all the way to Canada. Davies metaphorically reunites the granddaughter and grandmother when “a visitor from Granny’s garden” crosses paths with the girl in New York City. Ray provides delicately hashed lines in the illustrations that bring the hummingbirds’ erratic flight pattern to life as they travel north. The watercolor palette is injected with vibrancy by the addition of gold ink, mirroring the hummingbirds’ flashing feathers in the slants of light. The story is supplemented by notes on different pages with facts about the birds such as their nest size, diet, and flight schedule. In addition, a note about ruby-throated hummingbirds supplies readers with detailed information on how ornithologists study and keep track of these birds.

A sweet and endearing feathered migration. (bibliography, index) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0538-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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OVER AND UNDER THE WAVES

From the Over and Under series

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature.

In a new entry in the Over and Under series, a paddleboarder glimpses humpback whales leaping, floats over a populous kelp forest, and explores life on a beach and in a tide pool.

In this tale inspired by Messner’s experiences in Monterey Bay in California, a young tan-skinned narrator, along with their light-skinned mom and tan-skinned dad, observes in quiet, lyrical language sights and sounds above and below the sea’s serene surface. Switching perspectives and angles of view and often leaving the family’s red paddleboards just tiny dots bobbing on distant swells, Neal’s broad seascapes depict in precise detail bat stars and anchovies, kelp bass, and sea otters going about their business amid rocky formations and the swaying fronds of kelp…and, further out, graceful moon jellies and—thrillingly—massive whales in open waters beneath gliding pelicans and other shorebirds. After returning to the beach at day’s end to search for shells and to spot anemones and decorator crabs, the child ends with nighttime dreams of stars in the sky meeting stars in the sea. Appended nature notes on kelp and 21 other types of sealife fill in details about patterns and relationships in this rich ecosystem. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-79720-347-8

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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