ANIMAL RESCUE

THE BEST JOB THERE IS

Goodman (Ultimate Field Trip #3, p. 799, etc.) offers the riveting and true account of John Walsh, who has dedicated his life to saving animals. The subject is surprisingly accessible in the Ready-To-Read series format; the suspense of the story will keep emerging readers turning pages. The tale opens in Suriname, a jungle in South America, where Walsh is hurriedly canoeing to reach trapped animals before the rising water levels overtake them. A dam that has been built across one of Suriname’s rivers is causing the water to back up and flood the jungle. Walsh and his crew are plucking sloths off of the topmost branches of trees and saving starved tortoises from their perches on the last bit of dry land. The two other chapters cover Walsh’s exciting work in a Kuwaiti zoo after the Gulf War, and in Kobe, Japan, in the wake of an earthquake. Full-color photographs on every page enrich the already evocative text. (Nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-81794-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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RED-EYED TREE FROG

Bishop’s spectacular photographs of the tiny red-eyed tree frog defeat an incidental text from Cowley (Singing Down the Rain, 1997, etc.). The frog, only two inches long, is enormous in this title; it appears along with other nocturnal residents of the rain forests of Central America, including the iguana, ant, katydid, caterpillar, and moth. In a final section, Cowley explains how small the frog is and aspects of its life cycle. The main text, however, is an afterthought to dramatic events in the photos, e.g., “But the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day. It wakes up hungry. What will it eat? Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas.” Accompanying an astonishing photograph of the tree frog leaping away from a boa snake are three lines (“The snake flicks its tongue. It tastes frog in the air. Look out, frog!”) that neither advance nor complement the action. The layout employs pale and deep green pages and typeface, and large jewel-like photographs in which green and red dominate. The combination of such visually sophisticated pages and simplistic captions make this a top-heavy, unsatisfying title. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-87175-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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