This traditional Inuit story from Nunavut teaches children the importance of parental guidance—with a dash of excitement.

READ REVIEW

THE OWL AND THE TWO RABBITS

A cautionary tale about rabbit sisters who disobey their parents and find trouble as a result.

Even though their parents told them not to play out in the open tundra, two rabbit sisters climb atop rocks on a hillside. Trying to outdo each other in a jumping game, the rabbits soon see a large white owl land in front of them. Its talons are sharp and its belly grumbling. He grabs the two rabbits and won’t let go even as he is unable to take flight due to the way they squirm and fight. A comical scene follows as the rabbits work together to throw the owl off balance. The owl’s wife coaches her partner from the sky, telling him to let go of one of the rabbit sisters. Luckily for young readers who might be distressed at the thought that the protagonists might be eaten, the owl’s greed is overwhelming, and he will not listen to her advice. By sticking together, and believing in themselves, the rabbit sisters hatch an escape plan and learn an important lesson. The dark nature of the tale is mitigated by the style of illustration: Bright pastel colors cover each page, and the soft features of the owl and pink-eared rabbits alleviate some of the tension in the life-and-death struggle.

This traditional Inuit story from Nunavut teaches children the importance of parental guidance—with a dash of excitement. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77227-236-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Inhabit Media

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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There are better fish in the board-book sea.

SHARKS

From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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