SNEAKY, SPINNING BABY SPIDERS

Sneaky Sandra Markle has done it again, providing a thorough introduction to an animal—spiders, here—through striking photographs and clear, engaging text about its young. As she did with sharks and frogs, she uses her readers’ natural interest in childhood to extend their knowledge, discussing how spiderlings are born, how they live and stay safe and the kinds of changes they undergo as they grow up. Her organization is both topical and chronological, using examples ranging from the black-and-yellow garden spider, found in the eastern United States and elsewhere in the temperate northern hemisphere, to the garden-orb web spider of New Zealand. A map shows where each spider was photographed and also serves as an index. Close-up photographs from a variety of sources are identified in context; unfortunately, with one exception, there is no indication of the magnification involved even in the microscopic view of spinnerets. An afterword about spider value, some further curious facts and a glossary that, like the map, does double duty as an index to terms, complete this valuable and intriguing package. (Nonfiction. 5-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8027-9697-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2008

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THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE

Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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