WHERE DO POLAR BEARS LIVE?

The latest in the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science series, this Stage 2 title follows a mother bear and her cub as they emerge from their winter den in the Arctic and set out for the ice where the mother can catch a seal meal. Along the way, children learn about Arctic temperatures and conditions and the adaptations that allow polar bears to survive there. After about the first 29 pages, however, the style of the text changes from informative to exhortative. A decrease in Arctic ice is a fact that affects polar bears. This series has already addressed global warming, and its heavy presence in this title seems shoehorned in solely to galvanize readers. Backmatter includes more on global warming and ways readers can lessen their impact on the earth. Chin’s clean watercolor illustrations introduce the presumed narrator, a bespectacled, cartoon polar-bear scientist and realistically portray both the Arctic habitat and the polar bears. In some instances, though, the bears’ facial expressions are anthropomorphized, especially the cub’s and in the latter portions. All in all a rather disappointing effort from a solid series. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-06-157518-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Collins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more