An attractive addition to units on migration in the primary or middle grades.



From humpback whales to green turtles, 20 examples of seasonal migration illustrate remarkable animal journeys.

Spread by spread, Unwin, who writes regularly about wildlife, provides a brief description of these animals’ journeys. His informal and engaging exposition is set directly on gentle paintings of these creatures in a customary environment. Desmond’s art, created with watercolor, acrylic, ink, pencil, and pencil crayon, incorporates a paragraph of additional information about each species. It is her images that make this oversize album stand out. Caribou swim across an Arctic river; monarch butterflies fill a forest of evergreens in Mexico; red crabs swarm across a road on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. There are both familiar and unfamiliar bird migrations: emperor penguin, Arctic tern, wandering albatross, ruby-throated hummingbird, bar-headed goose, and whooping crane. There are bats; pilchard and salmon; African elephants and wildebeest. This is a U.K. import, and American readers may be surprised by the European examples of animals that also migrate in the Western Hemisphere: great white sharks, barn swallows, and osprey. A different point of view is refreshing, but North American teachers and librarians will want to make sure that they also have books that show these animals closer to home. Since publication in Great Britain in 2018, at least one fact has already become outdated. The use of ultralights to aid whooping crane migration was discontinued in 2016.

An attractive addition to units on migration in the primary or middle grades. (map) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0097-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A winning heads up for younger readers just becoming aware of the wider natural world.


An appeal to share concern for 12 familiar but threatened, endangered, or critically endangered animal species.

The subjects of Marino’s intimate, close-up portraits—fairly naturalistically rendered, though most are also smiling, glancing up at viewers through human eyes, and posed at rest with a cute youngling on lap or flank—steal the show. Still, Clinton’s accompanying tally of facts about each one’s habitat and daily routines, to which the title serves as an ongoing refrain, adds refreshingly unsentimental notes: “A single giraffe kick can kill a lion!”; “[S]hivers of whale sharks can sense a drop of blood if it’s in the water nearby, though they eat mainly plankton.” Along with tucking in collective nouns for each animal (some not likely to be found in major, or any, dictionaries: an “embarrassment” of giant pandas?), the author systematically cites geographical range, endangered status, and assumed reasons for that status, such as pollution, poaching, or environmental change. She also explains the specific meaning of “endangered” and some of its causes before closing with a set of doable activities (all uncontroversial aside from the suggestion to support and visit zoos) and a list of international animal days to celebrate.

A winning heads up for younger readers just becoming aware of the wider natural world. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51432-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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