No red—but lots of tooth and claw on display.

Face-to-face introductions to over two dozen creatures it would be better to avoid.

Labeling each predator as either extinct or modern-day, Jenkins arranges his paper-collage portraits—most of them rendered, as usual, with seemingly miraculous realism—in no readily obvious order. Starting off with the cruel-beaked “terror bird” (extinct) of South America and toothy views of a gaping Siberian tiger and T. Rex, he proceeds past African wild dogs (“some of the most successful predators on earth, with nine out of ten hunts ending in a kill”), the electric eel, killer pig Daedon, 48-foot-long (14.5 m) Titanoboa, and like threats to the spiderlike Trigonotarbid, just an inch long (2.5 cm) but 400 million years ago one of the largest predators on land. Then, in true browser-rousing fashion, he proposes several matchups, like the Siberian tiger vs. Utahraptor. Place your bets! Each creature comes with descriptive notes and a small silhouette posed next to a human (“The deadliest predator”) for scale. Measurements for each creature are provided in first English and then metric units. The bibliography includes an unremarkable assortment of reference works and websites.

No red—but lots of tooth and claw on display. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-67160-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017


Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...

Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011


From the Elephant & Piggie series

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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