ANIMAL CAMOUFLAGE

A SEARCH AND FIND ACTIVITY BOOK

A collection of international animals is concealed in a series of complex pictures. Search and find!

Hutchinson proposes taking readers on a trip around the world. He separates the Earth into seven regions. For each, there is first an overview of the topography and climate as well as short descriptions of the many animals indigenous to the region. Then, a double-page spread features a pair of challenges. On the left (taking up about one-quarter of the area), several animals are depicted clearly against white space. A wide, striking, and complex monochromatic cut-paper illustration of a typical habitat fills the rest, dizzying readers with the interaction between negative and positive space. Readers are challenged to find both animals from the left sidebar and additional ones according to specific directions. The African animals feature some with horns. Some of the Asian animals use their front legs like arms. Europe boasts a wide variety of birds. Many animals in the polar regions lay eggs. A lot of the animals in South America are denizens of the rain forest. The duck-billed platypus is not the only “Australasian” animal with a bill. A final page includes a fun fact about each of the seven regions (one is that there are 61 Australasian animals with bills). Hutchinson succeeds beautifully in making learning fun. Dennis’ distinctive cut-paper illustrations are suitable for framing and intricate enough to reward repeat viewing. Each of the seven regions is depicted in a different color.

Wonderful. (Informational picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61689-626-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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A winning heads up for younger readers just becoming aware of the wider natural world.

DON'T LET THEM DISAPPEAR

An appeal to share concern for 12 familiar but threatened, endangered, or critically endangered animal species.

The subjects of Marino’s intimate, close-up portraits—fairly naturalistically rendered, though most are also smiling, glancing up at viewers through human eyes, and posed at rest with a cute youngling on lap or flank—steal the show. Still, Clinton’s accompanying tally of facts about each one’s habitat and daily routines, to which the title serves as an ongoing refrain, adds refreshingly unsentimental notes: “A single giraffe kick can kill a lion!”; “[S]hivers of whale sharks can sense a drop of blood if it’s in the water nearby, though they eat mainly plankton.” Along with tucking in collective nouns for each animal (some not likely to be found in major, or any, dictionaries: an “embarrassment” of giant pandas?), the author systematically cites geographical range, endangered status, and assumed reasons for that status, such as pollution, poaching, or environmental change. She also explains the specific meaning of “endangered” and some of its causes before closing with a set of doable activities (all uncontroversial aside from the suggestion to support and visit zoos) and a list of international animal days to celebrate.

A winning heads up for younger readers just becoming aware of the wider natural world. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51432-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity

THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO

When the war comes to Syria, many flee, but Alaa stays in his beloved city, Aleppo, where he continues to work as an ambulance driver and helps the wounded to safety.

Day after day, he misses his family and friends who have left, wondering where they are and how they are doing. His neighborhood empties—except for cats! However, these cats are affected by the conflict too; they’re left behind with shelters destroyed and food and water stringently limited. Alaa, who has a big heart, starts taking care of them using the little money he has. The love between man and cats multiplies, and many people from around the world step up to help. Soon, the cats of Aleppo get a pleasant shelter set in a courtyard. However, Alaa does not stop there and goes on to help other animals and more people, spreading joy, love, and hope. Based on a true story, this picture book is distinctive for its engaging narrative and impeccable illustrations. It is also enriched with notes from Alaa himself (the real one) as well as the authors and illustrator. The often-dramatic images offer a glimpse of the city prior to the conflict and a window on the real people who experience war and try to survive and help others around them.

A beautifully told and illustrated story that offers a unique perspective on both war and humanity . (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1378-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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