Nicely varied collection and a perennially popular subject.

ANIMALS TO THE RESCUE!

AMAZING TRUE STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

From the Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries series

Even animals can be heroes, as evidenced by these true-life accounts from around the world.

These stories of animals rescuing people and other animals come from interviews with survivors and animal trainers. Markle draws readers in with a suspenseful tale of a whale saving a researcher in the South Pacific from an aggressive tiger shark and concludes with a heart-tugging picture of a dog comforting a child whose home in Peru has been destroyed by fire. In between, chapters introduce a lamb who comforts orphaned African large mammals, giant pouched rats who find buried land mines, a guide dog who came between her owner and an oncoming mini school bus, dogs who find survivors in destroyed buildings and under avalanches, other dogs who guard a penguin sanctuary, elephants who help clean up after a tsunami, and a cat who attacked a dog threatening a child. She describes the training of “HeroRATs” in considerable detail and includes callout boxes on endangered rhinos, land mines, rescue-dog training, and the lives of little penguins. This prolific nonfiction writer and confessed animal lover knows how to choose stories and details that will appeal to her readers, writing clearly and engagingly. Pronunciation for some names is provided in context, and the text is liberally supplemented with photographs and maps (sadly, nearly illegible blue silhouettes on a dark purple background) showing generally where the stories take place.

Nicely varied collection and a perennially popular subject. (author’s note, glossary, source note, further reference, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5415-8122-7

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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Sketchy text notwithstanding, an eye-filling gallery of creature features.

LIFE-SIZE ANIMALS

AN ILLUSTRATED SAFARI

Nature large in tooth and claw.

Ample enough in trim size (double-page spreads are 15 inches high by 22.4 inches wide) to offer a frontal view of a tiger’s face on the cover and full-body portraits within of evocatively named creatures including both the goliath frog and the goliath birdeater tarantula, this album of digital paintings rivals Steve Jenkins’ classic Actual Size (2004) for both realism and visual drama. Along with portraying the jagged dentifrice of a white shark and the eyes of an elephant, a blue whale, and a giant squid from just inches away, Grott intersperses collective gatherings of naturally posed animal relatives in full or partial views, plus select galleries of outsized tongues, claws, tails, and other parts. Schiavo occasionally waxes grandiose in her one- to three-sentence captions, dubbing bats “Lords of the Night,” for instance and, even less plausibly, hummingbirds “Warriors of the Sun.” She also leaves armchair naturalists unenlightened about how a ball python could keep its eggs warm, how a goliath frog’s lack of vocal sacs would amplify its croaking, or the significance of a musk deer’s pointy “primordial” canines. Still, she does offer common names and measurements (albeit and regrettably in English units only) for each subject.

Sketchy text notwithstanding, an eye-filling gallery of creature features. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4460-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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