Like the rest of the series, charming, informative, and effective.

THE TRUTH ABOUT ELEPHANTS

From the Truth About Your Favorite Animals series

In his fourth book exploring “seriously funny facts about your favorite animals,” Eaton delivers “tons of information” about elephants.

Each spread provides essential and engaging facts on subtopics such as habitat, anatomy, diet, family structure, and behavior. One particularly effective spread shows the physiological differences between Asian elephants and African elephants, using arrows to point out differences between their trunks, toenails, ears, backs, and heads. With levity that never feels flippant, Eaton acknowledges that elephants’ “biggest threat wears shoes” and devotes a spread to the many different ways humans threaten elephants’ survival. The next spread encourages readers to consider ways that they can effect change: “The threats are enormous, but you can begin to help by reading about elephants, and then teaching others and speaking out. / Because elephants are worth it!” Excellent pacing and design result in a compelling read enhanced by digitally colored pen-and-ink cartoon illustrations filled with bold lines and bright colors. Talking animals and a brown-skinned child with a curly black ponytail provide light commentary on the facts presented in the main text, and readers may particularly enjoy the jazz (and joke) trio made up of the elephant’s closest living relatives. The final spread contains a dossier of illustrated photographs and notes and a list of additional resources for “calves” and “cows and bulls.”

Like the rest of the series, charming, informative, and effective. (Informational picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62672-669-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president.

HONEY, THE DOG WHO SAVED ABE LINCOLN

A slice of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood life is explored through a fictionalized anecdote about his dog Honey.

When 7-year-old Abe rescues a golden-brown dog with a broken leg, he takes the pup home to the Lincolns’ cabin in Knob Creek, Kentucky. Honey follows Abe everywhere, including trailing after his owner into a deep cave. When Abe gets stuck between rocks, Honey goes for help and leads a search party back to the trapped boy for a dramatic rescue. The source for this story was a book incorporating the memories of Abe’s boyhood friend, explained in an author’s note. The well-paced text includes invented dialogue attributed to Abe and his parents. Abe’s older sister, Sarah, is not mentioned in the text and is shown in the illustrations as a little girl younger than Abe. All the characters present white save for one black man in the rescue crew. An oversized format and multiple double-page spreads provide plenty of space for cartoon-style illustrations of the Lincoln cabin, the surrounding countryside, and the spooky cave where Abe was trapped. This story focuses on the incident in the cave and Abe’s rescue; a more complete look at Lincoln’s life is included in an appended timeline and the author’s note, both of which include references to Lincoln’s kindness to animals and to other pets he owned.

This heartwarming story of a boy and his beloved dog opens the door for further study of our 16th president. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-269900-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders.

THE BIG BOOK OF THE BLUE

Denizens of the deep crowd oversized pages in this populous gallery of ocean life.

The finny and tentacled sea creatures drifting or arrowing through Zommer’s teeming watercolor seascapes are generally recognizable, and they are livened rather than distorted by the artist’s tendency to place human eyes on the same side of many faces, Picasso-like. Headers such as “Ink-teresting” or “In for the krill” likewise add a playful tone to the pithy comments on anatomical features or behavioral quirks that accompany the figures (which include, though rarely, a white human diver). The topical spreads begin with an overview of ocean families (“Some are hairy, some have scales, some have fins and some are boneless and brainless!”), go on to introduce select animals in no particular order from sea horses and dragonets to penguins and pufferfish, then close with cautionary remarks on chemical pollution and floating plastic. The author invites readers as they go to find both answers to such questions as “Why does a crab run sideways?” and also a small sardine hidden in some, but not all, of the pictures. For the latter he provides a visual key at the end, followed by a basic glossary.

A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders. (index) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65119-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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