As comprehensive an introduction as can be found in 48 pages.

WHAT'S THE BUZZ?

KEEPING BEES IN FLIGHT

From the Orca Footprints series

Author and hobbyist beekeeper Wilcox presents a cheery introduction to honeybees and their wild cousins.

Wilcox covers a lot of territory in a brief book, notably including quite a lot of information about bumblebees and other undomesticated bees as well as a healthy helping of facts about honeybees. From an overview that distinguishes between bees and wasps and then among types of bees and a bit of honeybee history, Wilcox moves on to bees as pollinators, both those used in commercial agriculture and specialist bees that focus on just certain types of blossoms, such as the squash bee. She covers bee behavior and roles, swarming, and what beekeepers do before moving on to cover threats to bees such as neonicotinoids and the varroa mite. The text is broken into brief chapters, which are then broken into short sections, and the design includes both bright, mostly stock photographs and sidebars. Specialized vocabulary (“nectar,” “industrial agriculture,” etc.) is italicized within the text and defined in a closing glossary. The resource list includes only two books, both aimed at adults, but the list of websites includes several that are kid-friendly. Wilcox’s tone is upbeat, and though her use of the exclamation mark is perhaps overdone, her enthusiasm for her subject is both genuine and infectious.

As comprehensive an introduction as can be found in 48 pages. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0960-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new...

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  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Newbery Medal Winner

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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