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

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Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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