In spite of textual shortcomings, this book provides a worthy introduction to an awe-inspiring geographic area that will be...

THE GREAT NORTH WOODS

Rothman’s detailed, realistic full-bleed acrylic paintings dominate this survey of animal and plant life in the vast area of boreal forest that extends from the eastern Great Lakes across the northeastern U.S. into Quebec.

The book is divided into five sections describing the varying habitats of this territory at different times of the day. The paintings provide a minutely observed and scientifically accurate view of the widely varying ecosystems and habitats of both familiar and less well-known species: fish including longnose gar, walleye, and bullhead; mammals including moose, bobcat, star-nosed mole, porcupine, and flying squirrel; birds including owl, raven, and grouse; and trees and plants such as the pitcher plant. The text is composed of couplets and quatrains of occasionally awkward rhyming verse, which sometimes disconcertingly describes animals and events not pictured. Small italicized headings helpfully identify the species featured on each page, although a larger, Roman typeface would have aided legibility, and a straightforward prose narrative would better complement the detailed scientific illustrations.

In spite of textual shortcomings, this book provides a worthy introduction to an awe-inspiring geographic area that will be unfamiliar to many and may encourage some to get outside and enjoy the woods. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-56846-275-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.

A TRUE HOME

From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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