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With facts sure to delight readers—who will be impatient to share their discoveries—this spectacular book is a must-purchase...

Building on years of experience in selecting animal facts and creating arresting illustrations, Jenkins surpasses his previous work with an amazing album characterized by clear organization, realistic images and carefully chosen examples.

The thoughtful, appealing design will both attract browsers and support those looking for specifics, but this also provides a solid introduction to the vast animal kingdom. After a chapter of definition, information is presented in sections on animal families, senses, predators, defenses, extremes and the story of life. More facts appear in the final chapter, which serves both as index (with page numbers and thumbnails) and quick reference. Most spreads have an explanatory paragraph and then a number of examples, each with an animal image and a sentence or two of detail set on white background. These cut- and torn-paper illustrations have realistic color and features: eyes that look at readers, teeth that amaze, and tiny legs, whiskers or feelers. Some are actual size or show a close-up portion of the animal’s body. Sections end with a jaw-dropping two-page image; chapters end with charts. Jenkins fills out this appealing celebration with a description of his bookmaking process.

With facts sure to delight readers—who will be impatient to share their discoveries—this spectacular book is a must-purchase for animal-loving families and most libraries. (glossary, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 5 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-547-55799-1

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: April 23, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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1001 BEES

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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From the What if You Had . . .? series

Another playful imagination-stretcher.

Markle invites children to picture themselves living in the homes of 11 wild animals.

As in previous entries in the series, McWilliam’s illustrations of a diverse cast of young people fancifully imitating wild creatures are paired with close-up photos of each animal in a like natural setting. The left side of one spread includes a photo of a black bear nestling in a cozy winter den, while the right side features an image of a human one cuddled up with a bear. On another spread, opposite a photo of honeybees tending to newly hatched offspring, a human “larva” lounges at ease in a honeycomb cell, game controller in hand, as insect attendants dish up goodies. A child with an eye patch reclines on an orb weaver spider’s web, while another wearing a head scarf constructs a castle in a subterranean chamber with help from mound-building termites. Markle adds simple remarks about each type of den, nest, or burrow and basic facts about its typical residents, then closes with a reassuring reminder to readers that they don’t have to live as animals do, because they will “always live where people live.” A select gallery of traditional homes, from igloo and yurt to mudhif, follows a final view of the young cast waving from a variety of differently styled windows.

Another playful imagination-stretcher. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781339049052

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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