Lovely to browse through but not likely to linger in a child’s mind or last in circulation.

OCEAN

A PEEK-THROUGH PICTURE BOOK

Peek through fish-shaped holes to see ocean inhabitants.

In the latest in her series of titles using die cuts that began with Tree (2016), German artist Teckentrup explores a “secret world” underwater. Stylized images of tropical fish, grasses, sponges, and more are arrayed in colorful scenes. Peek-through holes reveal creatures yet to come. Hegarty’s text consists of rhyming couplets forced into an awkward narrative describing what’s depicted, starting with a coral reef’s inhabitants: small fish, sea horses, dolphins, a lionfish. Under the threat of a great white shark, a squid squirts ink, a puffer fish puffs up, and smaller fish scatter and swarm into a fish-shaped school. Then night falls, and “Jellyfish, eels, and manta rays / Dance and bob in bright displays.” Finally, the fish hear a humpback whale and encounter a manatee and her babies “in an ocean meadow.” Returning to the reef world, the writer encourages readers to protect the environment. While the images are intriguing to look at, the pages, though of heavy stock, are not likely to stand up to repeated peeks and pokes, and the depiction of the ocean world is more fancy than fact, conflating wildly different ocean niches and anthropomorphizing the fish who stop to listen to the whale’s song.

Lovely to browse through but not likely to linger in a child’s mind or last in circulation. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64720-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.

MRS. PEANUCKLE'S BUG ALPHABET

From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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