Although an additional purchase for most purposes, this might have a place in a religious school or for a family of faith.

READ REVIEW

THE MAGICAL WISHING FISH

Bigger houses, more important titles: sounds like the wishes of many of today’s professionals and entrepreneurs.

But wait! This is an old tale of envy. This version of “The Fisherman and His Wife” hews closely to the original, although some significant (and unattributed) changes have been made. Here Isabel, the wife, asks to be a queen (not a king), and her wish to be pope (perhaps to smooth out the original’s overtly Christian content) is elided, the text jumping straight to her even more outrageous desire to be God. When the couple is reduced to living under an “old broken pot” once again (like a chamber pot, taken from the German “pissputt”), Isabel realizes that luxury and palaces never made her content, again deviating from the original. She moralizes: “God on Earth lived a simple life full of love and kindness, and I’m happy to live like that too.” The story is smoothly told, with fisherman Thomas’ dialogue to the fish introduced in rhyming verse. The sea roils in a wilder and wilder manner as the fish grows angrier and angrier with Isabel’s demands. The delicate paintings often have an ethereal, abstract quality, as in the picture of Isabel on an emperor’s golden throne, with a long flight of steps leading up to an indistinct, richly dressed seated figure. Poor Thomas sits at the bottom, turned away from her, holding his head, sad and scared, when she makes her last imperious request. Thomas and Isabel both present white.

Although an additional purchase for most purposes, this might have a place in a religious school or for a family of faith. (Picture book/fairy tale. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78250-524-2

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Floris

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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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

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An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles.

RUN, SEA TURTLE, RUN

A HATCHLING'S JOURNEY

The most fascinating part of this simple photo essay is the last statement made by the narrator, a baby leatherback sea turtle: “Someday I will come back to this same beach. I will lay eggs of my own.”

Although further explained in the backmatter (written for adults), this promise omits the fact that these turtles often travel 10,000 miles per year. As the main audience of this engaging description of leatherback sea turtles is very young children, and the book has a specific focus on the first days of life, the author sticks to a few details about the physical activities undertaken by the hatchling as she makes her way from the buried nest on a beach to the nearby sea. Readers might want to know where this beach is and where these turtles can be found, information not provided beyond the general statement that “They live in all of the world’s oceans.” This is not strictly true, as they are not found in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans. These quibbles aside, the easy-to-read text in clear type on blue backgrounds combines with Feuillet’s large photographs (often close-ups) to give readers a step-by-step account of the new turtle’s emergence from the egg to the top of the nest, across the beach, to the water: “WATCH ME RUN!”

An appealing, attractive, and accessible introduction to endangered sea turtles. (further information, further reading) (Informational picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7812-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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