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PLEASE DON’T WAKE THE ANIMALS

A BOOK ABOUT SLEEP

Beginning and ending with images of human children in bed, this gentle story describes where, when, how often and how long different animals sleep. Realistic paintings of particular species at rest fill three-quarters of each double-page spread. Each main idea is printed as a title; sidebars identify the species pictured and add more detail for interested listeners or readers. Beyond familiar species like lions, bats and bears, the author includes interestingly different examples: a New Zealand cricket that freezes solid, swifts that sleep while flying and parrotfish that make their own cocoons. Important terms, such as predator and prey, are introduced and explained in context. Animals are pictured naturalistically in their appropriate environments. The children reading themselves to sleep are African-American. The animal examples come from all parts of the world, reminding readers of the universality of this necessary activity. Both bedtime book and informational text, this appealing title ends with a short list of books and websites for further research. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-56145-393-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2008

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MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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WHERE DO FROGS COME FROM?

The lifecycle of the frog is succinctly summarized in this easy reader for children reading at the late first-grade level. In just one or two sentences per page, Vern details the amazing metamorphosis of the frog from egg to tadpole to adult, even injecting a little humor despite the tight word count. (“Watch out fly! Mmmm!) Large, full-color photographs on white backgrounds clearly illustrate each phase of development. Without any mention of laying eggs or fertilization, the title might be a bit misleading, but the development from black dot egg to full-grown frog is fascinating. A simple chart of the three main lifecycle steps is also included. Lifecycles are part of the standard curriculum in the early elementary grades, and this will be a welcome addition to school and public libraries, both for its informational value and as an easy reader. (Nonfiction/easy reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-15-216304-2

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Green Light/Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

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