A worthy, if somewhat forced, venture into multidisciplinary teaching for very young children that may require caregivers to...

BIRD BUILDS A NEST

A FIRST SCIENCE STORYBOOK

A generic mother bird learns to conquer the forces of physics while going about her daily chores.

In an unusual take on the well-worn topic of birds and their nests, the common activities associated with feeding and nest-building are used to teach the science of force and gravity, albeit at a very elementary level. The preface encourages caregivers to discuss the law of motion, stating that “More force is needed to change the motion of heavier objects than to change the motion of lighter objects.” (Caregivers may find themselves searching for other words to make this clear to youngsters.) Furthermore, “Earth’s gravity pulls objects towards the Earth, which makes things fall down when they are dropped.” Aspects of these principles are illustrated with somewhat dated-looking mixed-media pictures in a muddy color palette as the bird pulls worms out of the ground; struggles to find twigs light enough to carry; creates a nest with twigs, feathers, and grass; and finally lays five speckled eggs, out of which hatch baby birds. Five questions again address the physics illustrated in the story, asking about pushing, pulling, moving, and dropping.

A worthy, if somewhat forced, venture into multidisciplinary teaching for very young children that may require caregivers to do some heavy lifting of their own. (index) (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9346-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children.

AN ABC OF EQUALITY

Social-equity themes are presented to children in ABC format.

Terms related to intersectional inequality, such as “class,” “gender,” “privilege,” “oppression,” “race,” and “sex,” as well as other topics important to social justice such as “feminism,” “human being,” “immigration,” “justice,” “kindness,” “multicultural,” “transgender,” “understanding,” and “value” are named and explained. There are 26 in all, one for each letter of the alphabet. Colorful two-page spreads with kid-friendly illustrations present each term. First the term is described: “Belief is when you are confident something exists even if you can’t see it. Lots of different beliefs fill the world, and no single belief is right for everyone.” On the facing page it concludes: “B is for BELIEF / Everyone has different beliefs.” It is hard to see who the intended audience for this little board book is. Babies and toddlers are busy learning the names for their body parts, familiar objects around them, and perhaps some basic feelings like happy, hungry, and sad; slightly older preschoolers will probably be bewildered by explanations such as: “A value is an expression of how to live a belief. A value can serve as a guide for how you behave around other human beings. / V is for VALUE / Live your beliefs out loud.”

Adults will do better skipping the book and talking with their children. (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-742-8

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles.

RUN, SEA TURTLE, RUN

A HATCHLING'S JOURNEY

The most fascinating part of this simple photo essay is the last statement made by the narrator, a baby leatherback sea turtle: “Someday I will come back to this same beach. I will lay eggs of my own.”

Although further explained in the backmatter (written for adults), this promise omits the fact that these turtles often travel 10,000 miles per year. As the main audience of this engaging description of leatherback sea turtles is very young children, and the book has a specific focus on the first days of life, the author sticks to a few details about the physical activities undertaken by the hatchling as she makes her way from the buried nest on a beach to the nearby sea. Readers might want to know where this beach is and where these turtles can be found, information not provided beyond the general statement that “They live in all of the world’s oceans.” This is not strictly true, as they are not found in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. These quibbles aside, the easy-to-read text in clear type on blue backgrounds combines with Feuillet’s large photographs (often close-ups) to give readers a step-by-step account of the new turtle’s emergence from the egg to the top of the nest, across the beach, to the water: “WATCH ME RUN!”

An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles. (further information, further reading) (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7812-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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