Less complex than other titles on the subject, this would be a good starting point for curious children just starting to...

ANIMAL EYES

With simple text and revealing close-up photographs, nature photographer Holland demonstrates how an animal’s eyes can tell us something about their owner.

Predators’ eyes, located on the fronts of their heads, work together to help them judge the distance to their prey. Prey animals, on the other hand, have eyes on either side of their heads that allow them to detect threats from many directions. These and other facts about the eyes of animals ranging from owls and dragonflies to turtles and human children are likely to fascinate readers drawn in by the illustrations. Besides predator-prey distinctions, the author also points out the large eyes of nocturnal animals, the eight eyes of spiders and the third eyelid of some swimming animals (the phrase “nictitating membrane” is explained in the backmatter). Finally, she points out that eyes can reveal age or sex. Eyes matter! The large-font text includes challenges to readers: “Do you think this black bear cub is very young or older?” Four pages of backmatter provide further facts, definitions and matching games. The animals shown are clearly identified in the text; a repeated list on the colophon includes the slug on the title page.

Less complex than other titles on the subject, this would be a good starting point for curious children just starting to read. (bibliography) (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62855-446-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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Hee haw.

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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Informative, empowering, and fun.

ROX'S SECRET CODE

Girl power abounds in this book about coding that introduces young readers to the world of programming while offering them hands-on activities via a companion app.

In this title that was first introduced as a customizable, personalized print-on-demand product, Rox has a superpower. Using code, she programs toy robots that can do things like make broccoli disappear—or mischief. When Dad tells Rox to clean her room, she quickly thinks up a bot that will do it for her, writing code that instructs her bot to use artificial intelligence to sort objects by color and type. Though Rox knows that there’s a high potential for her creation to rebel, the perks outweigh any potential adverse effects. Rox’s robot has her room neat and tidy in no time—and then the entire home. Chorebot’s AI allows it to keep learning, and it seems Chorebot can do no wrong until the robot decides to rearrange the entire city (both buildings and people) by type, style, and gender. Chorebot goes “out of his artificial mind!” Rox must now stop her creation…without the assistance of the internet. The artwork, styled in the tradition of popular superhero series, is peppy and colorful, and it depicts Rox as an adorable black girl donning a black bomber jacket and a pink tutu. A companion app (not available for review) allows readers to create a bot of their own.

Informative, empowering, and fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-899-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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