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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Inspirational but occasionally unclear.

JUST LIKE ME

Gooding's debut profiles 40 famous people with disabilities.

The author, a mother of children with disabilities, opens the book with a note about her desire to find role models for her children. To that end, she alphabetically introduces racially diverse disabled people from around the world and throughout history. Diagnoses range from autism to limb difference. Historical figures include Japanese peace advocate Sadako Sasaki, who developed leukemia after the bombing of Hiroshima, and American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who led fellow slaves to freedom despite epilepsy. Contemporary figures include athletes, authors, and entertainers: Polio survivor and Paralympian Malathi Krishnamurthy-Holla remains "one of the fastest female Indian athletes in a wheelchair"; Japanese nonverbal author Naoki Higashida penned popular books describing autism; English actor Daniel Radcliffe deals with dyspraxia, a coordination disorder; and Australian Madeline Stuart is the first professional model with Down syndrome. Each profile begins with an uplifting quote and concludes with a sidebar explaining the subject’s disability. Unfortunately, some sidebars emphasize colloquial over scientific terms. For instance, Stephen Hawking’s disability is named eponymously (Lou Gehrig's disease), “also known as ALS,” instead of with its scientific name, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Occasionally, vague phrasing creates confusion, such as when the author writes that a speech-generating device enabled Hawking to communicate by using a “touchpad.” (A hand clicker became his primary input method.) Various illustrators’ realistic renditions of smiling subjects complement the upbeat (albeit somewhat dry) text.

Inspirational but occasionally unclear. (glossary, quote sources) (Collective biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-78741-848-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Bonnier/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mime’s most accomplished practitioner—alas, too much of the...

MARCEL MARCEAU

MASTER OF MIME

The legendary mime is introduced to a new generation, though not entirely successfully.

As a child, Marceau loved to silently entertain his friends, like his idol, Charlie Chaplin. During the Nazi occupation of France, Marcel and his brother took on new identities in the French Underground, where they forged documents for Jewish children and helped many to escape to Switzerland. Spielman assumes that her young audience will understand references to deportation and concentration camps; unfortunately for those that don't, her matter-of-fact tone speaks more of adventure than deadly peril. Her tone subtly changes when she lovingly describes Marceau’s training and development as a mime and his stage persona of Bip the clown, admiring his skills in the “art of silence” that won him international renown. But here too, comparisons to the Little Tramp and Pierrot may be outside readers’ frame of reference. Though the illustrations carefully complement the textual content with period details, Gauthier’s cartoon faces are all nearly identical, with only the screen image of Chaplin and Marceau’s Bip having distinctive features. A double-page spread at the conclusion provides photographs of Bip in action and is the only clear indication of Marceau’s stagecraft.

At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mime’s most accomplished practitioner—alas, too much of the book looks elsewhere. (Picture book/biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-3961-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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