Next book


Another appealing title in a long series of demonstrations of nature’s wonders.

A prolific author/illustrator couple explores the world of frogs.

Once again, Jenkins and Page prove their ability to choose interesting examples, write short, child-friendly explanations, and portray salient features of animals with deftly cut and torn paper images set on white paper. They introduce frogs as “creatures of two worlds,” water and land. The next spread displays half-sized images of 10 of the more than 5,500 frog species currently identified, showing an adult human hand in comparison. In two subsequent spreads, they highlight distinguishing characteristics of frogs as well as of the subset that are called toads, and they define the three major groups of amphibians: frogs and toads, salamanders and newts, and caecilians. They show development from egg through tadpole to adult. Then come examples of remarkable behaviors, drawn from varied environments around the world. These behaviors include adaptations for attracting a mate, caring (or not caring) for eggs, habitat, diet, and defenses. Finally, in a spread on threats, they compare frogs to a “canary in a coal mine” (explaining the reference). A concluding table lists all 30 frogs shown, with body length, diet, and range and acts as an index by indicating page numbers where these frogs can be found. (Helpfully and fairly unusually, for a picture book, there are numbers on every spread.) The backmatter also includes a good list of other books for young readers as well as internet sources.

Another appealing title in a long series of demonstrations of nature’s wonders. (Informational picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-544-38760-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Next book


Erupt into applause for this picture book of the first magma-tude.

A deceptively simple, visually appealing, comprehensive explanation of volcanoes.

Gibbons packs an impressive number of facts into this browsable nonfiction picture book. The text begins with the awe of a volcanic eruption: “The ground begins to rumble…ash, hot lava and rock, and gases shoot up into the air.” Diagrams of the Earth’s structural layers—inner and outer core, mantle, and crust—undergird a discussion about why volcanoes occur. Simple maps of the Earth’s seven major tectonic plates show where volcanoes are likeliest to develop. Other spreads with bright, clearly labeled illustrations cover intriguing subtopics: four types of volcanoes and how they erupt; underwater volcanoes; well-known volcanoes and historic volcanic eruptions around the world; how to be safe in the vicinity of a volcano; and the work of scientists studying volcanoes and helping to predict eruptions. A page of eight facts about volcanoes wraps things up. The straightforward, concise prose will be easy for young readers to follow. As always, Gibbons manages to present a great deal of information in a compact form.

Erupt into applause for this picture book of the first magma-tude. (Nonfiction picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4569-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

Next book


From the Find Momo series , Vol. 7

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute.

Readers bid farewell to a beloved canine character.

Momo is—or was—an adorable and very photogenic border collie owned by author Knapp. The many readers who loved him in the previous half-dozen books are in for a shock with this one. “Momo had died” is the stark reality—and there are no photographs of him here. Instead, Momo has been replaced by a flat cartoonish pastiche with strange, staring round white eyes, inserted into some of Knapp’s photography (which remains appealing, insofar as it can be discerned under the mixed media). Previous books contained few or no words. Unfortunately, virtuosity behind a lens does not guarantee mastery of verse. The art here is accompanied by words that sometimes rhyme but never find a workable or predictable rhythm (“We’d fetch and we’d catch, / we’d run and we’d jump. Every day we found new / games to play”). It’s a pity, because the subject—a pet’s death—is an important one to address with children. Of course, Momo isn’t gone; he can still be found “everywhere” in memories. But alas, he can be found here only in the crude depictions of the darling dog so well known from the earlier books.

A well-meaning but lackluster tribute. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781683693864

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

Close Quickview