Budding explorers may find inspiration for their own gatherings and maps.

MAGNOLIA’S MAGNIFICENT MAP

From the Walnut Animal Society series

The six members of the Walnut Animal Society are gathering for their monthly Society Soirée, but will Magnolia the Bunny be finished with her presentation in time?

All the friends are pitching in to help with the setup, and all are excited…except for Magnolia. It’s taken months for the rabbit cartographer to explore and gather photos for her latest map, but there’s still a blank spot right in the middle. Margaux the Kitty offers to accompany Magnolia on her final foray, but the mountain they find in the map’s blank spot is steep and rather daunting. How will they reach the top? Luckily, Chester the Raccoon’s fishing hole is partway up the slope, and together the three friends push, pull, and boost one another to the top, where they find a magnificent waterfall and a perfect swimming hole. After enjoying the water, Magolia finishes just in time for the soirée, where she impresses all her friends with her map of their favorite places. Bradshaw’s follow-up to Henry’s Bright Idea (2016) extends her line of handmade stuffed toys. The anthropomorphized characters are drawn with long limbs and simple faces, their eyebrows and mouths carrying much of the emotional weight. It can be difficult, however, to tell species from the illustrations, especially Ruthie the Deer. Indeed, aside from coloration and the shape of the ears, all the heads are identical.

Budding explorers may find inspiration for their own gatherings and maps. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-944903-12-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cameron + Company

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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Informative, empowering, and fun.

ROX'S SECRET CODE

Girl power abounds in this book about coding that introduces young readers to the world of programming while offering them hands-on activities via a companion app.

In this title that was first introduced as a customizable, personalized print-on-demand product, Rox has a superpower. Using code, she programs toy robots that can do things like make broccoli disappear—or mischief. When Dad tells Rox to clean her room, she quickly thinks up a bot that will do it for her, writing code that instructs her bot to use artificial intelligence to sort objects by color and type. Though Rox knows that there’s a high potential for her creation to rebel, the perks outweigh any potential adverse effects. Rox’s robot has her room neat and tidy in no time—and then the entire home. Chorebot’s AI allows it to keep learning, and it seems Chorebot can do no wrong until the robot decides to rearrange the entire city (both buildings and people) by type, style, and gender. Chorebot goes “out of his artificial mind!” Rox must now stop her creation…without the assistance of the internet. The artwork, styled in the tradition of popular superhero series, is peppy and colorful, and it depicts Rox as an adorable black girl donning a black bomber jacket and a pink tutu. A companion app (not available for review) allows readers to create a bot of their own.

Informative, empowering, and fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-899-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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