An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles.

RUN, SEA TURTLE, RUN

A HATCHLING'S JOURNEY

The most fascinating part of this simple photo essay is the last statement made by the narrator, a baby leatherback sea turtle: “Someday I will come back to this same beach. I will lay eggs of my own.”

Although further explained in the backmatter (written for adults), this promise omits the fact that these turtles often travel 10,000 miles per year. As the main audience of this engaging description of leatherback sea turtles is very young children, and the book has a specific focus on the first days of life, the author sticks to a few details about the physical activities undertaken by the hatchling as she makes her way from the buried nest on a beach to the nearby sea. Readers might want to know where this beach is and where these turtles can be found, information not provided beyond the general statement that “They live in all of the world’s oceans.” This is not strictly true, as they are not found in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. These quibbles aside, the easy-to-read text in clear type on blue backgrounds combines with Feuillet’s large photographs (often close-ups) to give readers a step-by-step account of the new turtle’s emergence from the egg to the top of the nest, across the beach, to the water: “WATCH ME RUN!”

An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles. (further information, further reading) (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7812-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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Although the text is awkward, savvy adults can use the whole package to initiate conversations.

WHAT'S THIS TAIL SAYING?

Tails communicate volumes in these encounters among many animals.

Animal interlocutors include a fox and a skunk, a beaver family, courting peacocks, a skink and a raccoon, and more. In every recto-verso sequence one animal responds with a tail action to another animal, with an explanation on the following page. The text is fairly simple and repetitive in format, blending prose and simplistic, rhyming phrases. A small monkey called a marmoset from Brazil (the location is mentioned only in the extensive backmatter) attempts to steal an egg from a nest. The text reads: “An egg thief is startled by a squawking mother bird. Fluff Puff. What’s the marmoset’s tail saying?” After the page turn, the text reads: “I had a fright! Hold me tight! The family cuddles and comforts the little one.” In the first picture, the baby marmoset’s tail expands to show its terror as the bird attacks it to save its young. When adult marmosets rescue their baby, the tails all go back to normal. The heavily detailed paintings realistically depict the animals and their environments, with meticulously rendered flora. A backmatter section for children includes animal descriptions (with small color photos) written at a higher reading level than the main text, and a separate one for caregivers includes an author’s note, tips for use, and related STEM and social-emotional–development activities.

Although the text is awkward, savvy adults can use the whole package to initiate conversations. (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-58469-662-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dawn Publications

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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A good-enough gateway to more detailed texts but not on par with earlier works. (Graphic informational early reader. 4-6)

ANTS DON'T WEAR PANTS!

From the Giggle and Learn series

Ants are always moving, as this comic’s insect inhabitants collectively proclaim, and McCloskey’s fast-paced narrative stays true to this assertion.

Two children on a playground shrink to investigate an anthill, cursorily revealing myriad ant facts. Ant anatomy, the life cycle of an ant and a colony, the structure and hierarchy of the colony, and an exploration of the four ant senses (touch, smell, hearing, and taste) are covered in one- to two-page spreads, revealing some interesting tidbits of information (e.g., ants hear with their legs). The second half of the anthill tour provides some detail on various types of ant species, such as leaf-cutter ants, trap-jaw ants, and exploding ants. An amusing (and incomplete) list titled “What Ants Eat” is followed by a superfluous reintroduction of the children, again child-sized, which closes the volume. The book’s best feature is its illustrations. Painted on recycled grocery bags, the ants are detailed and expressive, making the children (one white-presenting and one black-) seem static in comparison, an impression exacerbated by the clumsy dialogue passing between the two. The facts fare better, although some spreads feel a bit crowded and organization is loose. The brevity of the information revealed may inspire independent research in older readers, which has the potential to yield some fascinating results. Somewhat disappointingly, the title has no bearing whatsoever on the text.

A good-enough gateway to more detailed texts but not on par with earlier works. (Graphic informational early reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-943145-45-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: TOON Books & Graphics

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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