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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

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From the Questioneers series , Vol. 2

Adventure, humor, and smart, likable characters make for a winning chapter book.

Ada Twist’s incessant stream of questions leads to answers that help solve a neighborhood crisis.

Ada conducts experiments at home to answer questions such as, why does Mom’s coffee smell stronger than Dad’s coffee? Each answer leads to another question, another hypothesis, and another experiment, which is how she goes from collecting data on backyard birds for a citizen-science project to helping Rosie Revere figure out how to get her uncle Ned down from the sky, where his helium-filled “perilous pants” are keeping him afloat. The Questioneers—Rosie the engineer, Iggy Peck the architect, and Ada the scientist—work together, asking questions like scientists. Armed with knowledge (of molecules and air pressure, force and temperature) but more importantly, with curiosity, Ada works out a solution. Ada is a recognizable, three-dimensional girl in this delightfully silly chapter book: tirelessly curious and determined yet easily excited and still learning to express herself. If science concepts aren’t completely clear in this romp, relationships and emotions certainly are. In playful full- and half-page illustrations that break up the text, Ada is black with Afro-textured hair; Rosie and Iggy are white. A closing section on citizen science may inspire readers to get involved in science too; on the other hand, the “Ode to a Gas!” may just puzzle them. Other backmatter topics include the importance of bird study and the threat palm-oil use poses to rainforests.

Adventure, humor, and smart, likable characters make for a winning chapter book. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3422-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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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

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