From the Wild Survival series , Vol. 1

A good read for young nature enthusiasts.

Twelve-year-old Adrianna has a passion for wildlife, so when she has a chance to be on camera for Wild Survival! her family’s new TV show, she jumps at the chance—never guessing it will lead her into the jaws of a wild crocodile.

After running an animal sanctuary and zoo and its companion YouTube channel, the members of the Villalobos family are ready to expand on their social media success: A TV show will help fund their animal rescue program and conservation efforts. With producer Mr. Savage’s go-big-or-go-home attitude, their first stop is the mangroves of Cuba, in search of an injured “Mega Croc.” Based on a floating boat hotel in the wilderness, they begin their search as Adrianna tries to prove that she is ready to help rescue even the most dangerous of animals. The Villaloboses are a loving family whose interactions are enjoyable to observe. Readers will understand Adrianna’s desire to keep up with her older brother, Feye, and prove her competence to her family. Illustrations of typical Cuban flora and fauna (here’s looking at you, hutia!) and fun facts enhance the book; the author clearly did extensive research on the setting. However, the pace is slow at times, and the storyline about dangerous poachers never comes to a head, ultimately feeling like a letdown. Feye, who is adopted, is described as dark-skinned and not looking like the rest of the family members, who are minimally described.

A good read for young nature enthusiasts. (author’s note, animal facts, Spanish glossary) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-63505-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021


From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023


The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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