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A thought-provoking arboreal exploration.

This globe-trotting, poetic homage pays tribute to some of nature’s most unusual trees.

More than 73,000 species of trees exist on Earth, and, as Delacre explains at the end of the book, this volume focuses on some of the rarer 9,000 that most humans will never encounter. As told through a grandfather’s recounting to a granddaughter (brown-skinned and cued as Latine), with some unitalicized Spanish included, this work looks at trees such as General Sherman, a giant Sequoia in Tulare County, California; the African baobab; and the rainbow gum, found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. Remarkably, Delacre has incorporated leaves from the actual trees into the book’s vivid illustrations. Unfortunately, a sense of place is lost amid the verse (“its white hanging bells, / laden with sweet-sour scent, / lure bats from beyond”). It’s not until the backmatter, which includes a note from Delacre and a section on the importance of trees, that the locations and names of the trees covered are made explicit. There’s so much good information here that it’s a shame so much of it isn’t more effectively woven into the narrative. Still, the material as a whole is a deep dive into a fascinating aspect of the natural world.(This book was reviewed digitally.)

A thought-provoking arboreal exploration. (websites, bibliography) (Nature picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 28, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-5362-2040-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard.

Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season.

Name a change seen in northern climes in fall, and Rotner likely covers it here, from plants, trees, and animals to the food we harvest: seeds are spread, the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and fall (and are raked up and jumped in), some animals migrate, and many families celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. As in the previous book, the photographs (presented in a variety of sizes and layouts, all clean) are the stars here, displaying both the myriad changes of the season and a multicultural array of children enjoying the outdoors in fall. These are set against white backgrounds that make the reddish-orange print pop. The text itself uses short sentences and some solid vocabulary (though “deep sleep” is used instead of “hibernate”) to teach readers the markers of autumn, though in the quest for simplicity, Rotner sacrifices some truth. In several cases, the addition of just a few words would have made the following oversimplified statements reflect reality: “Birds grow more feathers”; “Cranberries float and turn red.” Also, Rotner includes the statement “Bees store extra honey in their hives” on a page about animals going into deep sleep, implying that honeybees hibernate, which is false.

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3869-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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From the I Can Read! series

An informative and accessible child’s-eye view of STEM careers.

Aspiring young scientists, take heed!

Traveling on a ship to the North Pole would seem an adventure in itself, but the young, unnamed narrator, whose mother heads up a team of marine biologists, also gets to meet eight other scientists involved in other specialties. On almost every page of this early reader, we encounter someone engaged in different fieldwork: a hydrologist, a microbiologist, a geologist, a seismologist, a climate scientist, a meteorologist, a zoologist, and an astronomer. As the narrator thinks about careers in science, more specialty roles—botanist, epidemiologist, and physicist—are added to the list. The work of these scientists is clearly and simply explained. (Appended is a short list with descriptions of 10 specialties.) The unfussy illustrations are washed in glowing colors, with many shades of blue; when snow forms the background, the scientists’ bright jackets pop. The ship itself is a fire-engine red. Beginners might need help reading or pronouncing some of the researchers’ special fields, but overall this is an engaging introduction to a wide and important area of work. The scientists include men and women and are racially diverse. The narrator and Mom are light-skinned; the child uses crutches.

An informative and accessible child’s-eye view of STEM careers. (Early reader/nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2024

ISBN: 9780062989659

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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