Armchair thrills aplenty for Anthropocene readers.

PREHISTORIC ANCESTORS OF MODERN ANIMALS

From the If Extinct Beasts Came to Life series

Artful digital collage makes it easy to imagine memorable modern encounters with a hippo-eating snake and other extinct creatures.

Except for a species of dwarf elephant that was about the same size as the sheep among which it poses here, the animals on display were all outsized—ranging from the evocatively named Titanoboa and a hawk-sized dragonfly dubbed Meganeura to 8-foot-long prehistoric beavers and the armored frog Beelzebufo. Mendez superimposes photorealistic digital images of each into contemporary settings, often to dramatic effect: the aforementioned amphibian is posed nose to nose with a German shepherd, for instance, and a white woman looks understandably shocked at the 7-foot-long Arthropleura, a Carboniferous millipede, rearing up on her kitchen counter. Along with an opening overview and closing notes about fossil-hunting, Rake supplies basic facts about each creature’s size, range, and probable habits. Rake and Mendez repeat the formula for equally memorable scenarios in the co-published Prehistoric Giants, Prehistoric Predators, and Prehistoric Sea Beasts.

Armchair thrills aplenty for Anthropocene readers. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-1159-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Hungry Tomato/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Adventures and misadventures, Old West style—but with dinos.

HOW TO TAME A TRICERATOPS

From the Dino Riders series , Vol. 1

Young Josh needs to up his ride if he’s going to win the Trihorn settlement’s 100th-anniversary Founders’ Day race and meet his hero, Terrordactyl Bill.

Set on the Lost Plains, where ranchers tend to herds of iguanodons, and horses (if there were any) would be easy pickings for the local predators, this series kickoff pits a brash lad and sidekick and schoolmates Sam and Abi against not only the requisite bully, but such fiercer adversaries as attacking pterodactyls. Josh’s first challenge after eagerly entering the race is finding a faster, nimbler steed than his steady but old gallimimus, Plodder. Along comes Charge—an aptly named, if not-quite-fully-trained triceratops with speed, brains, and, it turns out, a streak of loyalty that saves Josh’s bacon both here and in a simultaneously publishing sequel, How To Rope a Giganotosaurus, which prominently features T. Rex’s much larger cousin. Dare adds a map, as well as spot illustrations of rural Western types (Josh and Abi are white, Sam has dark skin and tightly curled hair) astride toothy, brightly patterned dinos. In both adventures Josh weathers regular encounters with dinosaur dung, snot, and gas as well as threats to life and limb to show up the aforementioned bully and emerge a hero.

Adventures and misadventures, Old West style—but with dinos. (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4668-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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A sensitive, discussable access point for children learning about Holocaust history.

JARS OF HOPE

HOW ONE WOMAN HELPED SAVE 2,500 CHILDREN DURING THE HOLOCAUST

The brave work of Irena Sendler, one of the righteous gentiles of World War II, is succinctly depicted in this new picture book.

“There are two kinds of people in this world, good and bad.” As a child, wise words from her father gave Irena a guiding principle to live by and prompted the adult Sendler to find ways to save 2,500 innocent Jewish children and babies from the horror of their Holocaust fate. She worked with a network of smugglers and shelters to hide them in carpentry boxes, vegetable sacks, and laundry piles, transporting them to orphanages and the homes of willing Christian foster families, recording the children’s names so they could be found later and burying her lists in the titular jars. And when she herself was imprisoned by the Nazis, Zegota, the Polish resistance group, bribed guards to free her so she could continue her important work. Digital and traditional art in opaque dark browns and grays illustrates the sinister period and shadowy existence of these saved children. Roy’s chronological narrative concentrates on the period from 1940 to 1944 and stresses Sendler’s heroism; it also includes invented scenes and dialogue, marking it as fiction.

A sensitive, discussable access point for children learning about Holocaust history. (afterword, author’s note, glossary, index, source notes) (Picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62370-425-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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