Next book



Jenkins, whose art can be seen in his own and others’ books on natural themes, here provides an introduction to the ways animals communicate, with brief text and full-color torn- and cut-paper collages. Jenkins notes: “Animals send messages with sounds, visual signals, and touch. They use odors and chemical messages, create vibrations in the ground, or even light up to communicate with others of their kind.” Handsome animal collages show some animals full-figure and others in close-up, including bats, wolves, cats, klipspringer (a kind of antelope), blue-footed boobies, and whales. The crushed-paper collages—the illustrator’s trademark—are appealing, but colors in this title are subdued, and the layouts frequently place disparate animals on the left and right page, making this title less useful for display. For example, the left panel shows two blue-footed boobies in a mating dance, while the right page shows an orb-web spider. Most successful are those layouts that capture the act of communicating, for example the two wolves, one cowering and submissive as the other snarls, or the cat rubbing up against a person’s pant leg. For the most part, though, communication is hard to show. A humpback whale swims, but how do we know it’s singing? The viewer can’t see the elephant’s rumbling stomach or the dolphin’s whistling. While the title will provide a first look at animal communication, it is not as successful as Jenkins’s previous efforts. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-618-03376-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2001

Next book


The author of Babe, the Gallant Pig (1985) offers another winner with this tale of a bright pig and her canny young keeper “training” a spoiled princess. When Princess Penelope demands a pig for her eighth birthday, her over-indulgent father requires every pig keeper in the country to assemble with a likely porcine candidate. The princess settles on Lollipop, who turns out to be the sole possession of penniless orphan Johnny Skinner. As only Johnny can get Lollipop to sit, roll over, or poop outdoors, soon lad and pig are comfortably ensconced together in a royal stall—at least until the pig can be persuaded to respond to the Princess’s commands. It’s only the beginning of a meteoric rise for Johnny, and for Lollipop too, as the two conspire to teach the princess civilized manners, and end up great favorites of the entire royal family. Barton (Rattletrap Car, p. 504, etc.) captures Penelope’s fuming, bratty character perfectly in a generous array of line drawings, and gives Lollipop an expression of affectionate amusement that will win over readers as effortlessly as it wins over the princess and her parents. Move over, Wilbur. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: June 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7636-1269-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2001

Next book


A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Close Quickview