WOW! LOOK WHAT BUGS CAN DO!

From the Wow! series

Oversized illustrations of various insects “slither, creep, crawl, scamper, swim, climb…or fly” across colorful pages that also sport the “Extraordinary Facts” announced on the cover.

The initial double-page spread is a bright, grassy green. A large black headline announces “The bug club.” Directly beneath it, in smaller black lettering: “Step into the exciting world of mini-beasts! Don’t be afraid!” Large, colorful, semicomical renditions of several insects—and a lizard whose tongue is trying to catch a fly—are scattered across the pages, accompanied by blocks of text that give a few facts about cicadas, rhinoceros beetles, peacock butterflies, tiger beetles, and ants. More text is included in two opaque circles of contrasting colors, each with the headline, “Wow!” Each succeeding double-page spread uses a similar layout, producing in readers the opposite effect of a bedtime story. The categories include legs, homes, camouflage, unusual survival skills, and more. On several occasions, the text cleverly adds buglike meanings to well-known sayings. Although the colorful busy-ness and overabundance of exclamation marks would suggest a preschool audience, an abundance of text and compound sentences makes it more appropriate for older readers who don’t mind hype. Their reward: plenty of cool and/or gross facts with which to impress others. Hopefully, young readers will read all the way to the ending’s reminder of the importance of bugs to our planet. Companion title Wow! Look What’s in the Oceans publishes simultaneously and with similar effect.

Fun with bugs. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7534-7517-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF PLANET EARTH

Flaps, pull tabs, and pop-ups large and small enhance views of our planet’s inside, outside, atmosphere, biosphere, and geophysics.

It’s a hefty, high-speed tour through Earth’s features, climates, and natural resources, with compressed surveys of special topics on multileveled flaps and a spread on the history of life that is extended by a double-foldout wing. But even when teeming with small images of land forms, wildlife, or diverse groups of children and adults, Balicevic’s bright cartoon illustrations look relatively uncrowded. Although the quality of the paper engineering is uneven, the special effects add dramatic set pieces: Readers need to hold in place a humongous column of cumulonimbus clouds for it to reach its full extension; a volcano erupts in a gratifyingly large scale; and, on the plate-tectonics spread, a pull tab gives readers the opportunity to run the Indian Plate into the Eurasian one and see the Himalayas bulge up. A final spread showing resources, mostly renewable ones, being tapped ends with an appeal to protect “our only home.” All in all, it’s a likely alternative to Dougal Jerram’s Utterly Amazing Earth, illustrated by Dan Crisp and Molly Lattin (2017), being broader in scope and a bit more generous in its level of detail.

It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 979-1-02760-562-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF ANIMALS

An outsized overview of animal types, senses, and common characteristics liberally endowed with flaps, pull-tabs, and like furbelows.

Della Malva’s realistically drawn animals crowd sturdy leaves large enough to feature life-size (or nearly so) images of the folded wings of a sea gull and a macaw, and Baumann fills the gaps between with meaty descriptive comments. On every page elements that lift, unfold, pop up, or spin aren’t just slapped on, but actively contribute to the presentation. On a “Birth and Growing” spread, for instance, each of six eggs from ostrich to platypus is a flap with an embryo beneath; a spinner presents a slideshow of a swallowtail’s life cycle from egg to adult; and no fewer than three attached booklets expand on the general topic using other species. Subsequent spreads cover animal sight, hearing, body coverings, grasping and touch, locomotion, and—centering on a startling gander down the pop-up maw of a wolf—eating. The animals and relevant body parts are all clearly labeled, and the text is pitched to serve equally well both casual browsers (“Even fish pee!”) and young zoologists seriously interested in the difference between “scales” and “scutes” or curious about the range of insect-mouth shapes.

Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-281-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more