This traditional Inuit story from Nunavut teaches children the importance of parental guidance—with a dash of excitement.

THE OWL AND THE TWO RABBITS

A cautionary tale about rabbit sisters who disobey their parents and find trouble as a result.

Even though their parents told them not to play out in the open tundra, two rabbit sisters climb atop rocks on a hillside. Trying to outdo each other in a jumping game, the rabbits soon see a large white owl land in front of them. Its talons are sharp and its belly grumbling. He grabs the two rabbits and won’t let go even as he is unable to take flight due to the way they squirm and fight. A comical scene follows as the rabbits work together to throw the owl off balance. The owl’s wife coaches her partner from the sky, telling him to let go of one of the rabbit sisters. Luckily for young readers who might be distressed at the thought that the protagonists might be eaten, the owl’s greed is overwhelming, and he will not listen to her advice. By sticking together, and believing in themselves, the rabbit sisters hatch an escape plan and learn an important lesson. The dark nature of the tale is mitigated by the style of illustration: Bright pastel colors cover each page, and the soft features of the owl and pink-eared rabbits alleviate some of the tension in the life-and-death struggle.

This traditional Inuit story from Nunavut teaches children the importance of parental guidance—with a dash of excitement. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77227-236-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Inhabit Media

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A good choice for a late fall storytime.

SNACK, SNOOZE, SKEDADDLE

HOW ANIMALS GET READY FOR WINTER

Animal behaviors change as they prepare to face the winter.

Migrate, hibernate, or tolerate. With smooth rhymes and jaunty illustrations, Salas and Gévry introduce three strategies animals use for coping with winter cold. The author’s long experience in imparting information to young readers is evident in her selection of familiar animals and in her presentation. Spread by spread she introduces her examples, preparing in fall and surviving in winter. She describes two types of migration: Hummingbirds and monarchs fly, and blue whales travel to the warmth of the south; earthworms burrow deeper into the earth. Without using technical words, she introduces four forms of hibernation—chipmunks nap and snack; bears mainly sleep; Northern wood frogs become an “icy pop,” frozen until spring; and normally solitary garter snakes snuggle together in huge masses. Those who can tolerate the winter still change behavior. Mice store food and travel in tunnels under the snow; moose grow a warmer kind of fur; the red fox dives into the snow to catch small mammals (like those mice); and humans put on warm clothes and play. The animals in the soft pastel illustrations are recognizable, more cuddly than realistic, and quite appealing; their habitats are stylized. The humans represent varied ethnicities. Each page includes two levels of text, and there’s further information in the extensive backmatter. Pair with Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen’s Winter Bees (2014).

A good choice for a late fall storytime. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2900-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers.

MOMMIES ARE AMAZING

The team of Costain and Lovšin (Daddies are Awesome, 2016) gives moms their due.

Rhyming verses tell of all the ways moms are amazing: “Mommies are magic. / They kiss away troubles… // …find gold in the sunlight / and rainbows in bubbles.” Moms are joyful—the best playmates. They are also fearless and will protect and soothe if you are scared. Clever moms know just what to do when you’re sad, sporty moms run and leap and climb, while tender moms cuddle. “My mommy’s so special. / I tell her each day… // … just how much I love her / in every way!” Whereas dads were illustrated with playful pups and grown-up dogs in the previous book, moms are shown as cats with their kittens in myriad colors, sizes, and breeds. Lovšin’s cats look as though they are smiling at each other in their fun, though several spreads are distractingly cut in half by the gutter. However delightful the presentation—the verse rolls fairly smoothly, and the cats are pretty cute—the overall effect is akin to a cream puff’s: very sweet and insubstantial.

A $16.99 Mother’s Day card for cat lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-651-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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