THEY WALK THE EARTH

THE EXTRAORDINARY TRAVELS OF ANIMALS ON LAND

The team that collaborated on two previous titles in this series, They Swim the Seas (1998) and Ride the Wind (1997), turns its attention to the overland migration of various groups of animals, including the Lapps of northern Norway. An afterword discussing migration in general briefly mentions several other animals. This section would have profited by continuing as it began with small portraits of the animals under consideration; readers are familiar with wolves and bears, which are illustrated, but may not be able to see in their mind's eyes the European bison, Przewalski's horse, and the saiga, which are not. The journeys of animals treated more fully seem to have been chosen on a desultory but primarily mammalian basis. The migrations of some—caribou and elephant—are clearly shown to be purposeful, whereas the routes of polar bears, traveling on `shifting ice floes and pack ice,` are reported to have definite aims, though no substantiating evidence is offered. Overburdening the capacity of home range pushes Norwegian lemmings into a search for new territory, the largest migration occurring once every 30 years or so. Faced with a body of water, they jump in and try to reach new land, thereby giving rise to the notion that they are suicidal. Described as `small rodents about the size of a fist` (a heavyweight boxer's fist? a six-year-olds?) a couple of lemmings are shown fighting to the death under population pressure in a full-page, otherwise work-a-day illustration. This purportedly informational book may arouse more questions from attentive young readers than it answers. (Nonfiction. 69)

Pub Date: March 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-15-292889-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2012

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Newbery Medal Winner

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How Ivan confronts his harrowing past yet stays true to his nature exemplifies everything youngsters need to know about courage.

Living in a "domain" of glass, metal and cement at the Big Top Mall, Ivan sometimes forgets whether to act like a gorilla or a human—except Ivan does not think much of humans. He describes their behavior as frantic, whereas he is a peaceful artist. Fittingly, Ivan narrates his tale in short, image-rich sentences and acute, sometimes humorous, observations that are all the more heartbreaking for their simple delivery. His sorrow is palpable, but he stoically endures the cruelty of humans until Ruby the baby elephant is abused. In a pivotal scene, Ivan finally admits his domain is a cage, and rather than let Ruby live and die in grim circumstances, he promises to save her. In order to express his plea in a painting, Ivan must bravely face buried memories of the lush jungle, his family and their brutal murder, which is recounted in a brief, powerful chapter sure to arouse readers’ passions. In a compelling ending, the more challenging question Applegate poses is whether or not Ivan will remember what it was like to be a gorilla. Spot art captures poignant moments throughout.

Utterly believable, this bittersweet story, complete with an author’s note identifying the real Ivan, will inspire a new generation of advocates. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-199225-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more