Average visuals compared to other entries in the series and a formula that is plainly wearing thin.

ANIMALS THAT MAKE ME SAY LOOK OUT!

The author of Animals That Make Me Say Ouch! (2014), …Wow! (2014), and …Ewww! (2016) offers a fresh set of stock nature photographs on the general theme of animal defensive behaviors and features.

That theme feels like it’s only a pretext, and she drops it halfway through anyway. In the first part, headed “Look out for animals on the defense,” she gathers views of wild creatures—predators and prey alike—flashing teeth or tusks, rearing up in aggressive threat displays, charging, playing dead, tussling, hiding, and using camouflage, venom, or skin poison. In the second, unrelated, section, she urges readers to “Look out for ways to protect animals.” Instead of offering any real concrete “ways,” however, she just identifies several dozen kinds of animals whose populations are declining from assorted hazards such as habitat loss or competition from invasive species. Some of the larger photos, at least—a drooling Florida panther, a crocodile lunging out of the water with jaws gaping, burrowing owls lined up alertly like avian meerkats, a tree frog hanging by one toe—rise above the ordinary. While casual readers will find the simply phrased descriptions and explanations next to the pictures easily digestible, a closing set of activities will give budding naturalists some healthy challenges.

Average visuals compared to other entries in the series and a formula that is plainly wearing thin. (index, glossary) (Nonfiction. 7-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62354-080-7

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Imagine Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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An immersive dunk into a vast subject—and on course for shorter attention spans.

EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT SHARKS AND OTHER UNDERWATER CREATURES!

From the Everything Awesome About… series

In the wake of Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Beasts! (2019), Lowery spins out likewise frothy arrays of facts and observations about sharks, whales, giant squid, and smaller but no less extreme (or at least extremely interesting) sea life.

He provides plenty of value-added features, from overviews of oceanic zones and environments to jokes, drawing instructions, and portrait galleries suitable for copying or review. While not one to pass up any opportunity to, for instance, characterize ambergris as “whale vomit perfume” or the clownfish’s protective coating as “snot armor,” he also systematically introduces members of each of the eight orders of sharks, devotes most of a page to the shark’s electroreceptive ampullae of Lorenzini, and even sheds light on the unobvious differences between jellyfish and the Portuguese man-of-war or the reason why the blue octopus is said to have “arms” rather than “tentacles.” He also argues persuasively that sharks have gotten a bad rap (claiming that more people are killed each year by…vending machines) and closes with pleas to be concerned about plastic waste, to get involved in conservation efforts, and (cannily) to get out and explore our planet because (quoting Jacques-Yves Cousteau) “People protect what they love.” Human figures, some with brown skin, pop up occasionally to comment in the saturated color illustrations. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 45% of actual size.)

An immersive dunk into a vast subject—and on course for shorter attention spans. (bibliography, list of organizations) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-35973-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Inviting and informative, with charming purrsonality.

KITTEN LADY'S BIG BOOK OF LITTLE KITTENS

Animal advocate and Kitten Lady blogger Shaw shares facts and her experiences fostering kittens.

As an animal foster parent, Shaw provides a temporary home and special care to vulnerable kittens until they find an adopter. Most of the kittens she shelters are orphans, often found in “unexpected places” like trash cans and the side of the highway without their mothers. Neonatal kittens, those with their eyes still closed and ears folded, are the most defenseless. In order to grow up healthy, kittens need help regulating their body temperature, receiving nutrients, learning to groom themselves, and getting appropriate amounts of rest and activity. Shaw celebrates every adoption. Her home is never empty because there are always more kittens in need. Photographs with playful embellishments accompany the first-person, informational narrative. The prose is full of cutesy language (“li’l peanuts”; “snuggle-dumplings”), but the casual conversational style fits the undeniable sweetness of the kittens and doesn’t detract from the educational aspect of the text. Words set in bold, green text are defined in the glossary. Shaw adds a personal touch by naming many of the kittens depicted in the photographs and using them as examples as she describes the details of kitten care. Although she emphasizes the dedication and hard work required for raising kittens, she encourages readers to get involved and suggests creative ways to help.

Inviting and informative, with charming purrsonality. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3894-1

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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