Familiar, familial fun delivers facts about caribou.


As wise Mama Caribou encourages her stubborn male calf to join the herd’s long, seasonal migration north for summer, readers learn facts about caribou and migration.

The formula developed in Hush Up and Hibernate! (2018) continues here, using childlike behaviors recognizable to children and adults for Baby Bou and showing in Mama Caribou a parent who gently but firmly nudges her child toward maturity. Mama Caribou initially allows her calf to procrastinate from the upcoming migration: He gets to play with his friends and then dig through snow for a snack of lichens. As Mama counters further excuses, readers learn rudimentary facts about caribou diets, predators, and the migration journey. A funny double-page spread uses the gutter playfully to show Baby Bou’s recollections of summer’s pesky mosquitoes. The background art of tundra scenery and herds of caribou is realistic and appealing, and it uses varied focusing techniques for distance. However, unlike the bears in the earlier book, this anthropomorphic pair—particularly the calf—has been endowed with spherical eyeballs that often look uncomfortably ready to pop out. Other than that unfortunate choice, there are some excellent facial expressions on both caribou, whose humanlike behaviors will keep readers entertained. As with its predecessor, the text offers a funny and familiar punchline and then several pages of facts related to the migration of temporary tundra-dwellers.

Familiar, familial fun delivers facts about caribou. (suggested activity, resources) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-943978-42-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Persnickety Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.


The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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There are better fish in the board-book sea.


From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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