A compelling account of the solution of a scientific mystery.

THE SEARCH FOR OLINGUITO

DISCOVERING A NEW SPECIES

A species of mammal newly identified through museum research is found in the wild in Ecuador.

Comparing olingo pelts and skulls at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Kristofer Helgen found a set that didn't match. Continuing his museum investigations around the world, he found similar specimens in four other collections. DNA testing showed that it was, indeed, a different species, which he named olinguito, "little olingo." One such animal had lived and died in captivity in the 1970s, but did they still exist in the wild? In this latest title, science educator Markle provides a stellar description of a long-term scientific investigation involving research in museums, in laboratories, and in the field. Her clear, well-organized text introduces the scientific question, describes the research, and introduces the newest member of the raccoon family. A two-page spread describes other family members, and there are numerous well-captioned photographs of this appealing new addition as well as American (mostly white) and Ecuadorian scientists at work. She makes clear that these animals were known to local people all along; it was scientists who were surprised. Attractive design and thoughtful backmatter complete the package, a nice complement to Lulu Delacre’s description of the olinguito’s native cloud forest, ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z!/Olinguito, from A to Z!

A compelling account of the solution of a scientific mystery. (source notes, glossary, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-1015-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age...

THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE

Beverly Cleary has written all kinds of books (the most successful ones about the irrepressible Henry Huggins) but this is her first fantasy.

Actually it's plain clothes fantasy grounded in the everyday—except for the original conceit of a mouse who can talk and ride a motorcycle. A toy motorcycle, which belongs to Keith, a youngster, who comes to the hotel where Ralph lives with his family; Ralph and Keith become friends, Keith gives him a peanut butter sandwich, but finally Ralph loses the motorcycle—it goes out with the dirty linen. Both feel dreadfully; it was their favorite toy; but after Keith gets sick, and Ralph manages to find an aspirin for him in a nearby room, and the motorcycle is returned, it is left with Ralph....

The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age group. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 1965

ISBN: 0380709244

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1965

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If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one.

THE WILD ROBOT ESCAPES

Roz, a robot who learned to adapt to life among wild creatures in her first outing, seeks to return to the island she calls home.

Brown’s sequel to The Wild Robot (2016) continues an intriguing premise: What would happen to a robot after challenges in an unexpected environment cause it to evolve in unusual ways? As this book opens, Roz is delivered to a farm where she helps a widower with two young children run a dairy operation that has been in his family for generations. Roz reveals her backstory to the cows, who are supportive of the robot’s determination to return to the island and to her adopted son, the goose Brightbill. The cows, the children, and finally Brightbill himself come to Roz’s aid. The focus on Roz’s escape from human control results in a somewhat solemn and episodic narrative, with an extended journey and chase after Roz leaves the farm. Dr. Molovo, a literal deus ex machina, appears near the end of the story to provide a means of rescue. She is Roz’s designer/creator, and, intrigued by the robot’s adaptation and evolution but cognizant of the threat that those achievements might represent to humans, she assists Roz and Brightbill in their quest. The satisfactory (if inevitable-feeling) conclusion may prompt discussion about individual agency and determination, whether for robots or people.

If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-38204-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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