ANIMALS OF LAND, SEA, AND AIR

From the Do You Know? series

Fun for the smallest critter enthusiasts; will work best as a browser.

Attention, animal lovers!

A feast for budding zoologists, this fact-laden French import contains four main sections—“What Is an Animal?” “Animal Life,” Animal Habitats,” and “Observing Animals.” Within sections, each page highlights a different relevant topic; for instance, under “What Is an Animal?” readers will learn about diet, mammals, and metamorphosis. (A final section, “More To Know,” includes dinosaurs, threatened/endangered species, and footprints.) Throughout, rudimentary data are presented via introductory sentences; charming spot-art illustrations of creatures and accoutrements with accompanying captions and labels, picture dictionary–style; and colorful sidebars that expand on the information and include cross-references to related pages elsewhere in the book. A “Let’s Review!” feature concludes each main section and, through questions and picture games, helps reinforce what children have learned. This mini-encyclopedia of sorts for the very young offers much: basic, accessible information about numerous animals; appealing, colorful, cartoon-style illustrations of wide-eyed animals and racially diverse kids; and opportunities for vocabulary enrichment. Some pages are cluttered or confusing; at times the book adopts a hodgepodge approach, particularly in the “Observing Animals” section, which covers perhaps too many bases, including structured animal environments, e.g., a zoo, a safari park, an aquarium, and a pet store, which depicts cats and dogs for sale—a practice falling largely out of favor. Still, flaws aside, it’s an attractive, well-organized volume. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Fun for the smallest critter enthusiasts; will work best as a browser. (index) (Informational picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-2-408-03356-9

Page Count: 92

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022

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MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

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

SHARKBLOCK

From the Block Books series

Captivating—and not a bit terrifying.

Catering to young scientists, naturalists, and Shark Week fans–to-be, this visually arresting volume presents a good deal of information in easily digested bites.

Like others in the Block Books series, this book feels both compact and massive. When closed, it is 5.5 inches across, 6.5 inches tall, and nearly 2 inches thick, weighty and solid, with stiff cardboard pages that boast creative die cuts and numerous fold-out three- and four-panel tableaux. While it’s possible it’s not the only book with a dorsal fin, it certainly must be among the best. The multiracial cast of aquarium visitors includes a Sikh man with his kids and a man of color who uses a wheelchair; there they discover the dramatic degree of variations among sharks. The book begins with a trip to a shark exhibit, complete with a megalodon jaw. The text points out that there are over 400 known types of sharks alive today, then introduces 18 examples, including huge whale sharks, tiny pocket sharks, and stealthy, well-camouflaged wobbegongs. Reef sharks prowl the warm waters of the surface, while sand tiger sharks explore shipwrecks on the ocean floor. Bioluminescent catsharks reside at the bottom of an inky black flap that folds down, signifying the deepest ocean depths, where no sunlight penetrates. Great whites get star treatment with four consecutive two-page spreads; their teeth and appetite impress but don’t horrify. The book does a wonderful job of highlighting the interconnectedness of species and the importance of environmental stewardship.

Captivating—and not a bit terrifying. (Board book. 3-5)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4119-7

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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