THE TRUE-OR-FALSE BOOK OF HORSES

The striking golden palomino pictured on the cover will have this title galloping off the shelf. Do horses walk on their toes? Can you tell a horse's age by his teeth? The author/illustrator team that collaborated on The True-Or-False Book of Cats (not reviewed) takes a similar look at horses in this title. Their affection and admiration for the subject are apparent. Each page includes pictures of horses past and present as well as brief questions and answers. The text is engaging, introducing historical facts and anecdotes: the discovery of the wild horses of Mongolia by Russian explorer Nikolai Przewalski in the 1800s and the career of Clever Hans the counting horse who toured Germany in the early 1900s. Other pages describe the specialized anatomy of the horse: leg bones, teeth, eyes, hoofs, sense of smell, and something about horse behavior. The illustrator extends the text with thumbnail drawings of horse incisors at different ages (yes, you can tell the age of a horse by his teeth) and humorous sketches of horses with balloon captions explaining the message of nickers, snorts, whinnies, and squeals. An appealing title for animal lovers and horse enthusiasts. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 30, 2000

ISBN: 0-688-16919-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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THE COOKIE-STORE CAT

There is an ineffable sweetness in Rylant’s work, which skirts the edge of sentimentality but rarely tumbles, saved by her simple artistry. This companion piece to The Bookshop Dog (1996) relates how the cookie-store cat was found, a tiny, skinny kitten, very early one day as the bakers came in to work. The cat gets morning kisses, when the bakers tell him that he is “sweeter than any cookie” and “prettier than marzipan.” Then he makes his rounds, out the screen door painted with “cherry drops and gingerbread men” to visit the fish-shop owner, the yarn lady, and the bookshop, where Martha Jane makes a cameo appearance. Back at the cookie store, the cat listens to Father Eugene, who eats his three Scotch chewies and tells about the new baby in the parish, and sits with the children and their bags of cookies. At Christmas he wears a bell and a red ribbon, and all the children get free Santa cookies. The cheerful illustrations are done in paint as thick as frosting; the flattened shapes and figures are a bit cookie-shaped themselves. A few recipes are included in this yummy, comforting book. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-54329-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1999

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