AROUND THE WORLD

WHO'S BEEN HERE?

PLB 0-688-15269-4 George offers alert naturalists a chance to go sleuthing around the world, and the results are invigorationg. Miss Lewis, a teacher, is off circumnavigating Earth; she corresponds with the students back home, telling of her travels and the creatures she encounters in Peru, Antarctica, Kenya, China, Japan, Australia, Alaska, and an island off the coast of California. She describes the wildlife, mentions particular sites she visits, often throws in an anthropological nugget or two, and then ends with a question that relates to some unusual trace that has been left by an animal—gouges taken out of cliff faces, a tree stripped bare, mysterious snowballs around a hot spring, a trail cut through the stony tundra. The animal is subsequently identified, although readers will not know until the end of the book, where the traces are explained, exactly what has transpired. George doesn’t try to cram every page with information, but is selective, choosing material that distills the unique character of a place. Excellent, highly detailed illustrations accompany the text. (maps) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-15268-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

RED-EYED TREE FROG

Bishop’s spectacular photographs of the tiny red-eyed tree frog defeat an incidental text from Cowley (Singing Down the Rain, 1997, etc.). The frog, only two inches long, is enormous in this title; it appears along with other nocturnal residents of the rain forests of Central America, including the iguana, ant, katydid, caterpillar, and moth. In a final section, Cowley explains how small the frog is and aspects of its life cycle. The main text, however, is an afterthought to dramatic events in the photos, e.g., “But the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day. It wakes up hungry. What will it eat? Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas.” Accompanying an astonishing photograph of the tree frog leaping away from a boa snake are three lines (“The snake flicks its tongue. It tastes frog in the air. Look out, frog!”) that neither advance nor complement the action. The layout employs pale and deep green pages and typeface, and large jewel-like photographs in which green and red dominate. The combination of such visually sophisticated pages and simplistic captions make this a top-heavy, unsatisfying title. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-87175-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more