There is no dearth of animal guessing games on the market, but the thoughtful selections and careful crafting of this new...

WHO AM I?

AN ANIMAL GUESSING GAME

Disassembled animal images make a puzzle for preschoolers.

Endlessly inventing new ways to organize Jenkins’ realistic cut-and-torn–paper wildlife illustrations, this prolific couple here offer an identification game for very young audiences. Each puzzle takes up four pages. On the first spread are five captioned parts or characteristics of an animal: “I have…two touchy antennae, nine black spots, two delicate wings, six wiggly legs, two beady eyes, and a flower for a home. Who am I?” On the next is the reveal: “I’m a ladybug!” More information about each creature—size, likely habitat, diet, the utility of some of the chosen characteristics, and an interesting fact—is presented in the extensive backmatter, also presented in first person. There are also some suggested titles for further reading, including animal encyclopedias. The stars of this intriguing puzzle collection are an American bullfrog, cottontail rabbit, ghost crab, flamingo, great horned owl, spider monkey, and the aforementioned ladybug (ladybird beetle). As always, Jenkins’ images stand out on a plain white background for ease of focus. The heavy-duty cardstock pages will stand up to repeated manipulation by small hands whose owners will want to play this game over and over.

There is no dearth of animal guessing games on the market, but the thoughtful selections and careful crafting of this new one should make it a good home choice and welcome addition to any collection. (Informational picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-93539-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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Simple, encouraging text, charming photographs, straightforward, unpretentious diversity, and adorable animals—what’s not to...

I LIKE THE FARM

From the I Like To Read series

This entry-level early reader/picture book pairs children with farm animals.

Using a simple, effective template—a full-page photograph on the recto page and a bordered spot photo above the text on the verso—Rotner delivers an amiable picture book that presents racially and ethnically diverse kids interacting (mostly in the cuddling department) with the adult and baby animals typically found on a farm. Chickens, chicks, cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, pigs, piglets, cows, and calves are all represented. While a couple of double-page spreads show the larger adult animals—pigs and cows—without a child, most of the rest portray a delighted child hugging a compliant critter. The text, simple and repetitive, changes only the name for the animal depicted in the photo on that spread: “I like the cat”; “I like the piglet.” In this way, reading comprehension for new readers is supported in an enjoyable, appealing way, since the photo of the animal reinforces the new word. It’s hard to go wrong combining cute kids with adorable animals, but special kudos must be given for the very natural way Rotner has included diversity—it’s especially gratifying to see diversity normalized and validated early, at the same time that reading comprehension is taught.

Simple, encouraging text, charming photographs, straightforward, unpretentious diversity, and adorable animals—what’s not to like? (Picture book/early reader. 2-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3833-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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A good choice for a late fall storytime.

SNACK, SNOOZE, SKEDADDLE

HOW ANIMALS GET READY FOR WINTER

Animal behaviors change as they prepare to face the winter.

Migrate, hibernate, or tolerate. With smooth rhymes and jaunty illustrations, Salas and Gévry introduce three strategies animals use for coping with winter cold. The author’s long experience in imparting information to young readers is evident in her selection of familiar animals and in her presentation. Spread by spread she introduces her examples, preparing in fall and surviving in winter. She describes two types of migration: Hummingbirds and monarchs fly, and blue whales travel to the warmth of the south; earthworms burrow deeper into the earth. Without using technical words, she introduces four forms of hibernation—chipmunks nap and snack; bears mainly sleep; Northern wood frogs become an “icy pop,” frozen until spring; and normally solitary garter snakes snuggle together in huge masses. Those who can tolerate the winter still change behavior. Mice store food and travel in tunnels under the snow; moose grow a warmer kind of fur; the red fox dives into the snow to catch small mammals (like those mice); and humans put on warm clothes and play. The animals in the soft pastel illustrations are recognizable, more cuddly than realistic, and quite appealing; their habitats are stylized. The humans represent varied ethnicities. Each page includes two levels of text, and there’s further information in the extensive backmatter. Pair with Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees (2014).

A good choice for a late fall storytime. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2900-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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