For readers and listeners alike, an appealing connection to the natural world.



From the Baby Animals series

A skilled wildlife photographer captures baby animals at play and at rest in the wild.

Eszterhas, who has documented animal behavior with her camera on seven continents, offers young readers and listeners an album of irresistible images of baby animals playing, exercising their bodies, practicing skills they will need to survive in the wild, and even resting on gorilla Dad’s “soft and bouncy” belly or capybara Mom’s back. Cheetahs wrestle, and jackal cubs fight over a ball of elephant poop. A lion cub uses a stick as a toy, a bison practices her head butts. Lemurs and raccoon kits climb trees, dolphins leap, bears dance, a giraffe runs. A baby orangutan dangles from his mother’s fur, and a small chimpanzee rolls on the ground of his rain-forest home. Beautifully reproduced photographs fill each spread, sometimes with another image superimposed. Each is a close-up, crisply focused on the subject with the animal’s wild habitat a soft blur behind. Two-sentence captions introduce the young animals and explain their actions. Two pages of backmatter introduce the California-based photographer and offer additional images, suggesting how difficult her choices must have been. Even toddlers can easily associate these animal activities with their own running, jumping, swinging, and dancing experiences.

For readers and listeners alike, an appealing connection to the natural world. (Informational picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77147-297-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.


The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design.


From the Mrs. Peanuckle's Alphabet Library series , Vol. 4

From Ant to Zorapteran, each page presents a variety of insects, both commonplace and obscure.

Narrator Mrs. Peanuckle, who enjoys sharing her likes and dislikes and writing about herself in the third person, has penned one to two sentences of quirky description and interesting facts for each insect representing a different letter of the alphabet: “L is for Ladybug / The loveliest of insects. They help Mrs. Peanuckle by eating the bugs on her roses!” The text often takes up most of the page and employs a different typeface per word, thus making the pages difficult to scan—often the featured letter of the alphabet merges with the name of the insect (“Inchworm” looks as though it has two I’s, for example). Ford’s lively insects skitter around the words in luminescent color; as with any effective insect book, there’s just enough detail to provoke interest without an ick-response. The companion book, Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet, presents blooms from Aster to Zinnia, with the same formula but with a more winsome approach to the art; here many of the flowers sport smiling faces in the same bold color palette.

Youngsters will enjoy the playful art if they aren’t overwhelmed by the busy design. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62336-939-2

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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