This lost little dog will easily find a place in children’s hearts.

LITTLE DOG LOST

THE TRUE STORY OF A BRAVE DOG NAMED BALTIC

A terrifying adventure set against an icy backdrop turns into a heartwarming tale of one canine’s remarkable courage and resilience.

This sweet picture book recounts the amazing true tale of a dog discovered floating on an ice floe on the Vistula River off Poland in January 2010. No one knows where the animal comes from or how it has found itself in this predicament. Trapped it is, however, as it drifts 75 miles downriver for two days, defying rescue attempts. Finally, a scientific vessel, the R/V Baltica, spots the freezing, sodden, starving animal, and a crewman saves it, not without considerable difficulty. After recovering, the dog is nicknamed “Baltic,” and it remains aboard to become a beloved, valued crew member. The story is told simply and charmingly. The author’s use of the present tense gives the narrative immediacy, and with very brief sentences, some dialogue and questions posed to readers, Carnesi imbues the tale with a strong sense of drama that will captivate young listeners. Her ink-and-watercolor illustrations are child-appealing and effectively capture the dog’s desperation and eventual contentment. An author’s note with accompanying photographs places events in context and brings the story to a very satisfying conclusion.

This lost little dog will easily find a place in children’s hearts. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-399-25666-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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Animated and educational.

I'M A HARE, SO THERE!

A hare and a ground squirrel banter about the differences between related animals that are often confused for one another.

Jack is “no Flopsy, Mopsy, or Cottontail,” but a “H-A-R-E, hare!” Like sheep and goats, or turtles and tortoises, rabbits and hares may look similar, but hares are bigger, their fur changes color in the winter, and they are born with their eyes wide open. As the ground squirrel (not to be mistaken for a chipmunk (even though Jack cheekily calls it “Chippie”) and Jack engage in playful discussion about animals, a sneaky coyote prowls after them through the Sonoran Desert. This picture book conveys the full narrative in spirited, speech-bubbled dialogue set on expressive illustrations of talking animals. Dark outlines around the characters make their shapes pop against the softly blended colors of the desert backgrounds. Snappy back-and-forth paired with repetition and occasional rhyme enhances the story’s appeal as a read-aloud. As the story progresses, the colors of the sky shift from dawn to dusk, providing subtle, visual bookends for the narrative. One page of backmatter offers a quick guide to eight easily confused pairs, and a second turns a subsequent exploration of the book into a seek-and-find of 15 creatures (and one dessert) hidden in the desert. Unfortunately, while most of the creatures from the seek-and-find appear in poses that match the illustrations in the challenge, not all of them are consistently represented. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 53.3% of actual size.)

Animated and educational. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-12506-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world.

YOU ARE HOME WITH ME

This reassuring picture book exemplifies how parents throughout the animal kingdom make homes for their offspring.

The narrative is written from the point of view of a parent talking to their child: “If you were a beaver, I would gnaw on trees with my teeth to build a cozy lodge for us to sleep in during the day.” Text appears in big, easy-to-read type, with the name of the creature in boldface. Additional facts about the animal appear in a smaller font, such as: “Beavers have transparent eyelids to help them see under water.” The gathering of land, air, and water animals includes a raven, a flying squirrel, and a sea lion. “Home” might be a nest, a den, or a burrow. One example, of a blue whale who has homes in the north and south (ocean is implied), will help children stretch the concept into feeling at home in the larger world. Illustrations of the habitats have an inviting luminosity. Mature and baby animals are realistically depicted, although facial features appear to have been somewhat softened, perhaps to appeal to young readers. The book ends with the comforting scene of a human parent and child silhouetted in the welcoming lights of the house they approach: “Wherever you may be, you will always have a home with me.”

Instills a sense of well-being in youngsters while encouraging them to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63217-224-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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