JOURNEY INTO THE RAINFOREST

Stunning photographs and descriptive text place readers right in the heart of the rainforest for a memorable journey that will leave them wanting more. Starting with what to wear and bring, this text stands out in that it even describes the process of getting to the rainforest—much more than a simple plane ride. In fact, the journey is part of the adventure. “You” are the traveler in this vibrant world—your guides the native peoples. With each stop, new plants and creatures await discovery. Readers will experience a thunderstorm, a flood, and the thrill of climbing a tree into the canopy—yet another world. This is where orchids grow, monkeys and parrots live, and frogs can spend their entire lives, depositing their eggs in the water collected in bromeliads. Each two-page spread takes the reader a little farther on the journey, while also focusing on one specific aspect of the rainforest—animal camouflage, survival, the forest floor. Knight also devotes one of these sections to the “Jigsaw Puzzle” that is the rainforest; all the pieces—the plants and animals—need to be in place to make the complete picture that is a healthy ecosystem. Knight’s descriptive text paints mental pictures, and the photographs are breathtaking. Pages cluttered with bits and pieces of text accompanying insets of smaller pictures and boxes tend to be busy, but clear type helps tone it down. Although it includes a glossary and index, this is much more than just the facts—it’s engrossing storytelling. (Nonfiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2001

ISBN: 0-19-521751-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Thought-provoking and charming.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE WILD ROBOT

A sophisticated robot—with the capacity to use senses of sight, hearing, and smell—is washed to shore on an island, the only robot survivor of a cargo of 500.

When otters play with her protective packaging, the robot is accidently activated. Roz, though without emotions, is intelligent and versatile. She can observe and learn in service of both her survival and her principle function: to help. Brown links these basic functions to the kind of evolution Roz undergoes as she figures out how to stay dry and intact in her wild environment—not easy, with pine cones and poop dropping from above, stormy weather, and a family of cranky bears. She learns to understand and eventually speak the language of the wild creatures (each species with its different “accent”). An accident leaves her the sole protector of a baby goose, and Roz must ask other creatures for help to shelter and feed the gosling. Roz’s growing connection with her environment is sweetly funny, reminiscent of Randall Jarrell’s The Animal Family. At every moment Roz’s actions seem plausible and logical yet surprisingly full of something like feeling. Robot hunters with guns figure into the climax of the story as the outside world intrudes. While the end to Roz’s benign and wild life is startling and violent, Brown leaves Roz and her companions—and readers—with hope.

Thought-provoking and charming. (Science fiction/fantasy. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-316-38199-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

A floral fantasia for casual browsers as well as budding botanists.

THE BIG BOOK OF BLOOMS

Spirited illustrations brighten a large-format introduction to flowers and their pollinators.

Showing a less Eurocentric outlook than in his Big Book of Birds (2019), Zommer employs agile brushwork and a fondness for graceful lines and bright colors to bring to life bustling bouquets from a range of habitats, from rainforest to desert. Often switching from horizontal to vertical orientations, the topical spreads progress from overviews of major floral families and broad looks at plant anatomy and reproduction to close-ups of select flora—roses and tulips to Venus flytraps and stinking flowers. The book then closes with a shoutout to the conservators and other workers at Kew Gardens (this is a British import) and quick suggestions for young balcony or windowsill gardeners. In most of the low-angled scenes, fancifully drawn avian or insect pollinators with human eyes hover around all the large, luscious blooms, as do one- or two-sentence comments that generally add cogent observations or insights: “All parts of the deadly nightshade plant contain poison. It has been used to poison famous emperors, kings and warriors throughout history.” (Confusingly for the audience, the accurate but limited assertion that bees “often visit blue or purple flowers” appears to be contradicted by an adjacent view of several zeroing in on a yellow toadflax.) Human figures, or, in one scene, hands, are depicted in a variety of sizes, shapes, and skin colors.

A floral fantasia for casual browsers as well as budding botanists. (glossary, index) (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-500-65199-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more