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A delightful poetry anthology that readers of all ages will enjoy.

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A collection offers poetry and coloring pages for children, parents, and educators.

This anthology showcases the talents of 15 writers as they wax poetic across the animal kingdom, from birds, fish, and bears to dogs, cats, and farm animals. These rhyming poems are simple and concise yet crafted to appeal to young readers. “Come with me, / I’m bluebird free! / With azure wings, / I’m feathered glee,” writes Margaret Simon. Other winged creatures featured include an itchy ostrich, a robin redbreast with a song to share, and a busy penguin. Dean Flowerfield’s imagination runs wild about different kinds of sea life while staring into a goldfish bowl. Turtles and gators “bump bounce boogie” on a log. A mother turtle “lays a clutch / Of moon-shaped eggs” on the shore before returning to the water. Editor Street explores the seasonal behavior of foxes, while Michelle Kogan zeroes in on the autumnal patterns of rabbits. A black bear takes a meandering walk through a cityscape in a poem by Debra Friedland Katz, while a slobbery dog named Mr. Jaws takes an elevator ride in a piece by Adrian Fogelin. Honeybees, monarch butterflies, spiders, and other insects get their due, too. The poems are interspersed with coloring pages that correspond to the pieces. The book also includes pages for readers to write their own poems and draw their own illustrations. The collection’s poems are playful and fun to read, as when Fogelin describes “the click of hard toenails, the damp of a snout, / the flump of butts furry, the breath tinged with trout” of “The Bears on the Stairs.” The poets also get creative with fonts and formatting. In addition to learning about animals, readers are exposed to different forms of poetry, like haiku, acrostic, and triolet. A few animals, like an okapi (a relative of the giraffe), may be unfamiliar to many readers, and some of the language, like Kogan’s description of sloths as “three-toed pygmies” that are “critically endangered,” may go over kids’ heads or require explanation.

A delightful poetry anthology that readers of all ages will enjoy.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 9781947536142

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Turtle Cove Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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From the Find Momo series , Vol. 7

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute.

Readers bid farewell to a beloved canine character.

Momo is—or was—an adorable and very photogenic border collie owned by author Knapp. The many readers who loved him in the previous half-dozen books are in for a shock with this one. “Momo had died” is the stark reality—and there are no photographs of him here. Instead, Momo has been replaced by a flat cartoonish pastiche with strange, staring round white eyes, inserted into some of Knapp’s photography (which remains appealing, insofar as it can be discerned under the mixed media). Previous books contained few or no words. Unfortunately, virtuosity behind a lens does not guarantee mastery of verse. The art here is accompanied by words that sometimes rhyme but never find a workable or predictable rhythm (“We’d fetch and we’d catch, / we’d run and we’d jump. Every day we found new / games to play”). It’s a pity, because the subject—a pet’s death—is an important one to address with children. Of course, Momo isn’t gone; he can still be found “everywhere” in memories. But alas, he can be found here only in the crude depictions of the darling dog so well known from the earlier books.

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781683693864

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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From the What if You Had . . .? series

Another playful imagination-stretcher.

Markle invites children to picture themselves living in the homes of 11 wild animals.

As in previous entries in the series, McWilliam’s illustrations of a diverse cast of young people fancifully imitating wild creatures are paired with close-up photos of each animal in a like natural setting. The left side of one spread includes a photo of a black bear nestling in a cozy winter den, while the right side features an image of a human one cuddled up with a bear. On another spread, opposite a photo of honeybees tending to newly hatched offspring, a human “larva” lounges at ease in a honeycomb cell, game controller in hand, as insect attendants dish up goodies. A child with an eye patch reclines on an orb weaver spider’s web, while another wearing a head scarf constructs a castle in a subterranean chamber with help from mound-building termites. Markle adds simple remarks about each type of den, nest, or burrow and basic facts about its typical residents, then closes with a reassuring reminder to readers that they don’t have to live as animals do, because they will “always live where people live.” A select gallery of traditional homes, from igloo and yurt to mudhif, follows a final view of the young cast waving from a variety of differently styled windows.

Another playful imagination-stretcher. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781339049052

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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