A compelling introduction to the miracle of migration.

READ REVIEW

THE TURTLE DOVE'S JOURNEY

A STORY OF MIGRATION

The story of the monthlong, 4,000-mile migration of a European turtle dove from his nesting site in an English garden to rural Mali.

Dunphy’s account is based on the migration of a real bird of this species that was tracked with satellite telemetry by Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. A series of warm, colorful illustrations is paired with a narrative describing each stage in the bird’s journey. The conversational third-person narration folds in lots of information: about how the bird knows where he is going—instinct, the sun, and recognition of landmarks from previous flights; why he flies at night (to avoid predators); where he hides during the day; and the various dangers of the trip, including heat, dust, and weather. Interesting details are included, such as the astonishing fact that the dove travels over the English Channel faster than the ships crossing it. The moving, engaging story is told with just the right blend of poetic warmth and factual detail to satisfy curious budding naturalists: “Luckily, this [Sahara Desert sandstorm] is relatively mild, and the turtle dove flies above it—much like an airplane can fly above a rainstorm.” A closing essay describes why this species is thought to migrate and notes that it is sadly on the decline due to changes in agricultural practices, hunting, drought, and disease.

A compelling introduction to the miracle of migration. (map, resources) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 9, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-970039-01-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Web of Life

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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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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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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