An attractive addition to units on migration in the primary or middle grades.



From humpback whales to green turtles, 20 examples of seasonal migration illustrate remarkable animal journeys.

Spread by spread, Unwin, who writes regularly about wildlife, provides a brief description of these animals’ journeys. His informal and engaging exposition is set directly on gentle paintings of these creatures in a customary environment. Desmond’s art, created with watercolor, acrylic, ink, pencil, and pencil crayon, incorporates a paragraph of additional information about each species. It is her images that make this oversize album stand out. Caribou swim across an Arctic river; monarch butterflies fill a forest of evergreens in Mexico; red crabs swarm across a road on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. There are both familiar and unfamiliar bird migrations: emperor penguin, Arctic tern, wandering albatross, ruby-throated hummingbird, bar-headed goose, and whooping crane. There are bats; pilchard and salmon; African elephants and wildebeest. This is a U.K. import, and American readers may be surprised by the European examples of animals that also migrate in the Western Hemisphere: great white sharks, barn swallows, and osprey. A different point of view is refreshing, but North American teachers and librarians will want to make sure that they also have books that show these animals closer to home. Since publication in Great Britain in 2018, at least one fact has already become outdated. The use of ultralights to aid whooping crane migration was discontinued in 2016.

An attractive addition to units on migration in the primary or middle grades. (map) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0097-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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


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


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

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