ANIMALS IN MOTION

HOW ANIMALS SWIM, JUMP, SLITHER AND GLIDE

Nature writer Pamela Hickman (My First Look at Nature series) provides a closer look at the special anatomical features that help animals run, walk, swim, and fly. She frequently compares human inventions and animal adaptations; for example: `People use parachutes to fall more slowly through the air. Many animals, such as flying squirrels, lemurs, lizards and frogs, have built in parachutes.` Hickman then explains the special features of the sugar gliders (flying squirrels) lizards, frogs, and flying fish that help them glide, and steer. She also provides a brief experiment, `Make a Sugar Glider,` so the reader can see for himself how adding a plastic flap to a Popsicle stick frame (like the sugar glider's folds of skin) helps the model fall more slowly. A careful observer of animals, she describes four different ways snakes slither, how a walrus uses his tusks like ice picks to move along on ice packs, how a Jacana (bird) walks on water, and how the penguin uses his wings to fly underwater. Full color illustrations on every page engage the viewer. Some, drawn much larger than life are startling, like the inch-long land snail, drawn plattersized. Others, like a magnified view of the hairs on the legs of a water strider, or the spiny scales on the edge of the toes of a fringed lizard that help it run on loose desert sands, extend the readers understanding. The author does not include information on the size, range, or scientific name of animals included. The author and illustrator do provide a splendid look at animal adaptation for movement. (index) (Nonfiction, 812)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-55074-573-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Newbery Medal Winner

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

more