Look to this eye-catching book to be convinced of the wonders of the bat and how they are deserving of protection, but be...

BAT CITIZENS

Chock-full of bat facts and photographs, this nonfiction book for young readers makes the case for bat conservation, including challenges that face the species and possible solutions.

Laidlaw opens the book with key bat facts about various species, how they live, and their biology, but he has already betrayed his true intent in the introduction: “I hope this book changes the way you think about bats and inspires you to get active helping them.” After the basics, it becomes a focused case for bat protection. Surprisingly, then, the chapter “Bats for a Healthy World” is the shortest, but it speaks to how vital bats are to the health of our ecosystem. Within each section, there are frequent, sometimes-intrusive “Bat Citizen” features that identify students (all presenting white) who are making positive impacts on bat communities. The smaller “bat facts” and “batty ideas” boxed items, on the other hand, fit in nicely with surrounding photographs. Though the scale is unclear, a striking center gatefold allows readers a closer look at a hoary bat. The backmatter includes a nice section on practical ways to help, but it doesn’t include any specific resources or works cited.

Look to this eye-catching book to be convinced of the wonders of the bat and how they are deserving of protection, but be prepared for advocacy. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77278-039-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Pajama Press

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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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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