Not just chatter, but a welcome and informative conclusion to a successful series of animal introductions.

THE TRUTH ABOUT PARROTS

From the Truth About Your Favorite Animals series

With the help of talkative parrots, Eaton’s nature-loving protagonist learns about a family of wild birds beloved for their abilities to mimic human voices.

In this engaging, appreciative title, a curious child meets a variety of parrots. The human representative here is a brown-skinned kid with curly, dark hair; the parrot species introduced include cockatoos, macaws, lorikeets, and the solitary, flightless kakapo. As per series norm, the narrative consists of simple statements of facts set directly on cartoon spreads. Further facts appear in boxes while humorous commentary comes from parrots themselves in speech bubbles. Often what they say in jest reinforces facts that have been introduced. The kakapo complains about crowds when the protagonist shares information with two friends; and the hyacinth macaws regard habitat destruction and comment, “We should say something.” The humor is broad, sometimes cheerfully exaggerated, but often it introduces even more facts. Grey parrots are shown in lab experiments naming and describing objects—and also asking for a grant application to be typed, which makes an observing gorilla (gorillas have also learned to communicate with humans) remark that “apparently anything goes in this book.” There is clearly instructive purpose behind the zaniness that will make readers see parrots as more than just potential pets. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Not just chatter, but a welcome and informative conclusion to a successful series of animal introductions. (further facts, further research) (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23255-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity

THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO

When the war comes to Syria, many flee, but Alaa stays in his beloved city, Aleppo, where he continues to work as an ambulance driver and helps the wounded to safety.

Day after day, he misses his family and friends who have left, wondering where they are and how they are doing. His neighborhood empties—except for cats! However, these cats are affected by the conflict too; they’re left behind with shelters destroyed and food and water stringently limited. Alaa, who has a big heart, starts taking care of them using the little money he has. The love between man and cats multiplies, and many people from around the world step up to help. Soon, the cats of Aleppo get a pleasant shelter set in a courtyard. However, Alaa does not stop there and goes on to help other animals and more people, spreading joy, love, and hope. Based on a true story, this picture book is distinctive for its engaging narrative and impeccable illustrations. It is also enriched with notes from Alaa himself (the real one) as well as the authors and illustrator. The often-dramatic images offer a glimpse of the city prior to the conflict and a window on the real people who experience war and try to survive and help others around them.

A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity . (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more