A package that’s appealing and accessible; a good suggestion for fledgling readers.



From the Baby Animals series

A well-known nature photographer shares some animal family portraits.

Eszterhas uses this selection of her striking animal photographs to introduce some of the many ways young animals are nurtured by parents, family members, and their communities. In these endearing images, her fans will recognize animals she’s studied in the field and written about previously, including cheetahs, sloths, elephants, and lions, but there are more: chimpanzees, albatrosses, topi (a type of antelope), polar bears, humpback whales, and bat-eared foxes. Beautifully reproduced close-ups of a baby animal and often its siblings with one or many caregivers fill each double-page spread. Superimposed is a boxed paragraph with simply written information about how that animal is nurtured. Sometimes there’s an additional image. The author’s point is clear: “no matter what kind of family they have, babies need care and support from others as they learn and grow.” She shows baby animals with one parent or the other (Dad or Mom), with both parents, or with a relative (Auntie), as well as babies in groups or herds. She points out that while all the albatrosses in a colony might look the same to us, parents recognize their own chick’s call. In the backmatter are smaller images of even more animal parents and children, including the puppy who’s a member of the photographer’s own family.

A package that’s appealing and accessible; a good suggestion for fledgling readers. (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77147-322-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There are better fish in the board-book sea.


From the Science for Toddlers series

Dramatic stock photos and die-cut tabs are the distinguishing features of this board book.

“Did you know that there are over 400 types of sharks?” is an intriguing opening, but readers primed to find out about those specific types may be surprised that the shark on the facing page is not identified. Instead, the picture of a shark above a school of fish gives a sense of its size. Smaller text explains that shark skeletons are made of cartilage, not bone. Layered die cuts that accentuate the nose and mouth of nine different sharks on the right-hand pages invite children to turn the pages quickly. White type printed against various contrasting colors on the left-hand pages offers tidbits of information but is unlikely to make young children pause long enough to be read the text. A picture of almost 40 sharks swimming together seems to contradict the accompanying explanation that many sharks are endangered. A final full-color spread speaks of sharks’ important role in maintaining ocean balance and includes a picture of a grandfatherly shark scientist. The back cover is devoted to information for adults. While intriguing and scientifically credible, the wordy text and seemingly arbitrary factoids are well beyond the attention spans of all but the most avid young fans of the species.

There are better fish in the board-book sea. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2128-8

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet