With its undistinguished poetry but warm feelings and appealing paintings, this is an additional choice for some home...

READ REVIEW

MOTHER EARTH'S LULLABY

A SONG FOR ENDANGERED ANIMALS

Snuggling families, whether human or animal, are comforting and reassuring presences at bedtime.

Bookended by sentimentalized portraits of a white mother and two small white children in their pajamas, the verse starts off with exalted language: “When Mother Earth bids goodnight, / she casts her shafts of silver light. / She says: ‘Goodnight, my precious ones.’ / Nature’s song has just begun.” The scene switches to the natural world and successive double-page spreads are filled with lush, vibrantly colored paintings that usually show a parent animal and its young one(s) at night in their environment. Rhyming couplets describe each scene, not always smoothly: “Nene young quieting, / get warm below their mama’s wing,” reads the text as the illustration presents goslings and their mother among hibiscus blooms. The animal paintings are realistic and engaging, but there is no sense of accurate scale. The animals included are threatened or endangered by issues including human encroachment, climate change, and animal predators. These are described briefly in the backmatter. There is an unfortunate editorial mistake; a description of a red-tailed Amazon parrot has been substituted for the toucan pictured in the primary text. The book ends with an upbeat page, inexplicably lacking illustrations but detailing a few animals whose numbers have recently rebounded. There is no map and only one web resource.

With its undistinguished poetry but warm feelings and appealing paintings, this is an additional choice for some home libraries. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-88448-557-5

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups.

WOLF PUPS JOIN THE PACK

From the First Discoveries series

A photo album of young wolves running, playing, and growing through their first year.

Light on factual details, the uncredited text largely runs to vague observations along the lines of the fact that “young wolves need to rest every now and then” or that packs “differ in size. Some are large and have many wolves, while others are small with only a few.” The chief draws here are the big, color, stock photos, which show pups of diverse ages and species, singly or in groups—running, posing alertly with parents or other adult wolves, eating (regurgitated food only, and that not visible), howling, patrolling, and snoozing as a seasonal round turns green meadows to snowy landscapes. In a notably perfunctory insertion squeezed onto the final spread, a wildlife biologist from the American Museum of Natural History introduces himself and describes his research work—all with animals other than wolves. Budding naturalists should have no trouble running down more nourishing fare, from Seymour Simon’s Wolves (1993) to Jonathan London’s Seasons of Little Wolf (illustrated by Jon Van Zyle, 2014) and on. Baby Dolphin’s First Swim follows the same formula even down to profiling exactly the same wildlife biologist.

A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There may be an audience for this—but not in any library, classroom, group, or, particularly considering the pointy piece,...

HUMAN BODY

From the Scratch and Learn series

A very simple guide to (some) human anatomy, with scratch-off patches.

On sturdy board pages two cartoon children—one brown, one a sunburned pink—pose for cutaway views of select anatomical features. In most images certain parts, such as lungs and bladder on the “Organs” spread and both gluteus maximi on “Muscles,” are hidden beneath a black layer that can be removed with the flat end (or more slowly with the pointed one) of a wooden stylus housed in an attached bubble pack. With notable lack of consistency, the names of select organs or areas, with such child-centric additions as “A cut,” or “Poop,” are gathered in bulleted lists and/or placed as labels for arbitrarily chosen items in the pictures. It’s hard to envision younger readers getting more than momentary satisfaction from this, as they industriously scrape away and are invited to learn terms such as “Alveoli” and “Latissimus dorsi” that are, at best, minimally defined or described. Older ones in search of at least marginally systematic versions of the skeletal, sensory, nervous, and other (but not reproductive) systems will be even less satisfied. Even those alive to the extracurricular possibilities of a volume that contains, as one of the two warnings on the rear cover notes, a “functional sharp point,” will be disappointed.

There may be an audience for this—but not in any library, classroom, group, or, particularly considering the pointy piece, preschool setting. (Informational novelty. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-323-9

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more