For young naturalists, an invitation to guide 14 animals through migratory rounds.
Castrillón (The Balcony, 2019) casts each route as a wandering maze through uncrowded landscapes or waterways, with a red flag showing where to start, a checkered flag at the midway point, and explanatory notes and prompts placed throughout. The animals range from the far-traveling likes of humpback whales and Arctic terns to the red crabs of Christmas Island, which scuttle out of the rainforest to mate on the shore and “flick their eggs into the sea.” “Migration” is defined broadly enough to include the daily ups and downs (“diel vertical migration”) of Antarctic krill and loosely enough to include the peregrinations of polar bears along with annual journeys such as that of Zambia’s straw-colored fruit bats or the sockeye salmon’s once-in-a-lifetime odyssey. Obliquely acknowledging the often high attrition rates with occasional skulls or scatterings of bones, she recognizes the hazards migratory species face. Her animals are small cartoon figures that generally smile and often even cavort friskily about while both animal and human predators lurk on the sidelines watching. Piecemeal though it is, the narrative will leave younger readers with a basic grounding in the concept, and the mazes are simple enough that the visual key to their routes at the end may go unneeded.
Light in tone but not content, an imaginative way to map comings and goings in the natural world. (Informational novelty. 6-9)