Another winner for young animal lovers.

Rotner adds to her striking collection of children’s books featuring her photography with this beginning look at animals’ life cycles.

Mindful of the youngest children, the author keeps things simple by placing each animal on a single spread, one phrase describing the life stages (with appropriate vocabulary: hatchling, lamb, piglet) as they unfold in the three to six photographs that span the pages, and what photos they are! “Egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly” includes six photos, one each of the first three, and then three showing the monarch butterfly inside the now-clear chrysalis, unfolding its wings, and perched on a pink flower. The gangly foal progresses from wobbly infancy to a sturdy colt to a full-grown stallion, its tail and mane grown in and its coat glossy. Of the 14 animals presented, seven begin as eggs (frog, bird, chicken, turtle, snake, lizard), six are common on farms or as pets (rabbit, pig, sheep, horse, cat, dog), and the last is, appropriately, a human. While the robin hatchling is shown in its rather ugly, featherless stage, the chick is not, and of the kit, kitten, and puppy, only the final is shown as a newborn with eyes still shut tight. The backmatter includes three life-cycle diagrams (butterfly, bird, frog), a brief glossary, and a list of “breeds” shown in the photos (several are members of individual species rather than breeds, a distinction that is not clarified by the short, accompanying definition). The few humans pictured are diverse in gender and racial presentation.

Another winner for young animal lovers. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4828-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021


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 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017



From the Baby Loves… series

So rocket science can be fun.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

If they haven’t already thought about their futures (and they probably haven’t), toddlers and preschoolers might start planning after perusing this cheerful first guide to scientific careers. Plump-cheeked, wide-eyed tykes with various skin and hair colors introduce different professions, including zoologist, meteorologist, aerospace engineer, and environmental scientist, depicted with cues to tip readers off to what the jobs entail. The simple text presents the sometimes-long, tongue-twisting career names while helpfully defining them in comprehensible terms. For example, an environmental scientist “helps take care of our world,” and a zoologist is defined as someone who “studies how animals behave.” Scientists in general are identified as those who “study, learn, and solve problems.” Such basic language not only benefits youngsters, but also offers adults sharing the book easy vocabulary with which to expand on conversations with kids about the professions. The title’s ebullient appearance is helped along by the typography: The jobs’ names are set in all caps, printed in color and in a larger font than the surrounding text, and emphasized with exclamation points. Additionally, the buoyant watercolors feature clues to what scientists in these fields work with, such as celestial bodies for astronomers. The youngest listeners won’t necessarily get all of this, but the book works as a rudimentary introduction to STEM topics and a shoutout to scientific endeavors.

So rocket science can be fun. (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62354-149-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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