Naturalists will be enthralled.

WHO WAS HERE?

DISCOVERING WILD ANIMAL TRACKS

Even the very young can identify animal tracks when it’s made this much fun.

Rhyming couplets that give clues to an animal’s identity and accompany illustrations of life-size (but admittedly not always realistically spaced) tracks and a few habitat clues encourage children to guess who made the print. “Round footprints left by two-toed feet / pressed into the sand in the desert heat. / This animal lives without water for days, / traveling under scorching sun rays.” Snaking (literally) between the prints is a long, S-shaped line. The turn of the page reveals the tracks’ makers—“A camel and a snake!”—and a paragraph of information about these animals (dromedary camels and horned vipers) follows. Other featured animals include black bear, gray wolves, moose, kangaroos, hippos, cattle egrets, beavers and a jaguar. Posada’s illustrations give great clues, and the answer pages mostly show both close-ups of the animals and at least one full-body image against the animals’ habitat. Backmatter encourages readers to use all the clues a track gives to identify the animal: number of toes, whether claws are visible or not, size of the track, how deeply impressed the track is, how far apart they’re spaced, etc. Tracks of nonfeatured animals in the background of the page challenge readers. The only thing that’s missing is an instructional note about using paper cups and plaster of Paris to cast found tracks.

Naturalists will be enthralled. (websites, further reading, answer key) (Informational picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1871-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An adorable adventure in cartography.

CAMILLA, CARTOGRAPHER

An exercise of spatial thinking through a snowy forest.

Camilla the warthog collects maps. Maps of stars, New York, even the London Tube. She even owns an ancient map of her forest. Unfortunately for her, she believes all lands have been explored and there is nothing new to chart. However, with a snowy morning comes a new opportunity. When her hedgehog neighbor, Parsley, asks for her help in finding the creek, Camilla quivers with excitement when she realizes the snow-covered land “is uncharted territory.” With all landmarks covered in snow, Camilla and Parsley must use their spatial-reasoning skills and a compass to find a new way to the creek. Their trailblazing journey proves a challenge as they keep bumping into trees, rocks, and walls. But when they find the creek, Camilla will have all the information and tools ready to draw out a new map, to break out in case of another snowfall. Wood’s delightful illustrations and Dillemuth’s expertise in the matter engage readers in the woodland creatures’ adventures. In addition, Dillemuth, who holds a doctorate in geography, provides activities in the backmatter for parents and caregivers to help children develop their own spatial-reasoning skills, such as sketching and reading maps or using cardinal directions.

An adorable adventure in cartography. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3033-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow...

THE BOOK HOG

A porcine hoarder of books learns to read—and to share.

The Book Hog’s obsession is clear from the start. Short declarative sentences describe his enthusiasm (“The Book Hog loved books”), catalog the things he likes about the printed page, and eventually reveal his embarrassing secret (“He didn’t know how to read”). While the text is straightforward, plenty of amusing visual details will entertain young listeners. A picture of the Book Hog thumbing through a book while seated on the toilet should induce some giggles. The allusive name of a local bookshop (“Wilbur’s”) as well as the covers of a variety of familiar and much-loved books (including some of the author’s own) offer plenty to pore over. And the fact that the titles become legible only after our hero learns to read is a particularly nice touch. A combination of vignettes, single-page illustrations and double-page spreads that feature Pizzoli’s characteristic style—heavy black outlines, a limited palette of mostly salmon and mint green, and simple shapes—move the plot along briskly. Librarians will appreciate the positive portrayal of Miss Olive, an elephant who welcomes the Book Hog warmly to storytime, though it’s unlikely most will be able to match her superlative level of service.

There’s nothing especially new here, but the good-natured celebration of books, reading, and libraries will charm fellow bibliophiles, and the author’s fans will enjoy making another anthropomorphic animal friend. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-03689-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more