Too many incongruities and unpacked issues to stay on track, if well meant.

WILL YOU MISS US IF WE GO?

From the If We're Gone series

Fourteen endangered or threatened animals highlight their plights in perky rhyme.

"With a ruddy red appearance, I’m very cute. / I grow big and strong eating insects and fruit.” Frequently privileging metrics over precise language or even meaning, Jaeger adds to the gallery begun in Who Will Roar If I Go? (2018) with lyrics from the orangutan (depicted by Quirk with pale orange hair and a woefully shriveled-looking arm) as well as the addax, the Eurasian lynx, the tapir, the pygmy hippo, and like rarities. Along with a blithe assurance that the ivory-billed woodpecker is extant (which is still subject to debate), the author makes some head-scratching observations. The red panda informs readers, “My feet can swivel all the way around / Which allows me to walk upside down!” and the orang states, “Our forest homes disappear each year / Due to some palm-growing racketeer.” A closing section offers prose “Factoids” cast as riddles—with answers directly attached. The illustrations make a stronger case for concern, with creatures who, though looking diaphanous and placed in even more airy natural settings, gaze up at viewers with knowing or quizzical expressions as if actually asking the cogent titular question.

Too many incongruities and unpacked issues to stay on track, if well meant. (glossary) (Informational picture book/poetry. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-945448-59-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: BQB Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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A winning heads up for younger readers just becoming aware of the wider natural world.

DON'T LET THEM DISAPPEAR

An appeal to share concern for 12 familiar but threatened, endangered, or critically endangered animal species.

The subjects of Marino’s intimate, close-up portraits—fairly naturalistically rendered, though most are also smiling, glancing up at viewers through human eyes, and posed at rest with a cute youngling on lap or flank—steal the show. Still, Clinton’s accompanying tally of facts about each one’s habitat and daily routines, to which the title serves as an ongoing refrain, adds refreshingly unsentimental notes: “A single giraffe kick can kill a lion!”; “[S]hivers of whale sharks can sense a drop of blood if it’s in the water nearby, though they eat mainly plankton.” Along with tucking in collective nouns for each animal (some not likely to be found in major, or any, dictionaries: an “embarrassment” of giant pandas?), the author systematically cites geographical range, endangered status, and assumed reasons for that status, such as pollution, poaching, or environmental change. She also explains the specific meaning of “endangered” and some of its causes before closing with a set of doable activities (all uncontroversial aside from the suggestion to support and visit zoos) and a list of international animal days to celebrate.

A winning heads up for younger readers just becoming aware of the wider natural world. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51432-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF ANIMALS

An outsized overview of animal types, senses, and common characteristics liberally endowed with flaps, pull-tabs, and like furbelows.

Della Malva’s realistically drawn animals crowd sturdy leaves large enough to feature life-size (or nearly so) images of the folded wings of a sea gull and a macaw, and Baumann fills the gaps between with meaty descriptive comments. On every page elements that lift, unfold, pop up, or spin aren’t just slapped on, but actively contribute to the presentation. On a “Birth and Growing” spread, for instance, each of six eggs from ostrich to platypus is a flap with an embryo beneath; a spinner presents a slideshow of a swallowtail’s life cycle from egg to adult; and no fewer than three attached booklets expand on the general topic using other species. Subsequent spreads cover animal sight, hearing, body coverings, grasping and touch, locomotion, and—centering on a startling gander down the pop-up maw of a wolf—eating. The animals and relevant body parts are all clearly labeled, and the text is pitched to serve equally well both casual browsers (“Even fish pee!”) and young zoologists seriously interested in the difference between “scales” and “scutes” or curious about the range of insect-mouth shapes.

Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-281-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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