Welcome, heart-gladdening poems that never come amiss.

I'VE LOST MY HIPPOPOTAMUS

Prelutsky is back to make your day better, even if it’s already a good one.

Here come 103 more poems from the master of silliness; the guy must dream in poetry, his output is so steady and strong. And he is everywhere in the poetic world. He tackles grief—a young gent on the afternoon his hamster died: “It was a poor, unpleasant pet / That I should probably forget. / It never had a proper name… / I miss it deeply, all the same.” He introduces a disarmingly honest goblin—“I have an awful odor, / An unattractive voice. / I’m nasty and annoying / By nature and by choice.” He effortlessly turns a haiku conundrum: “All evening I sing, / Happy on a lily pad, / Celebrating spring.” He hands readers new words, little gems, for them to play with—“easy to abhor” or “Some unsavory subterfuge”—or lets them watch as he turns a world on its head: “…I thought I made an error once— / But I was just mistaken.” Urbanovic’s black-and-white artwork displays a comfortably free hand, roving between loose and scrunched as it depicts Prelutsky’s vast company of players: Gludus, Wiguanas, Appleopards and Flamingoats.

Welcome, heart-gladdening poems that never come amiss. (index) (Poetry. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-201457-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF ANIMALS

An outsized overview of animal types, senses, and common characteristics liberally endowed with flaps, pull-tabs, and like furbelows.

Della Malva’s realistically drawn animals crowd sturdy leaves large enough to feature life-size (or nearly so) images of the folded wings of a sea gull and a macaw, and Baumann fills the gaps between with meaty descriptive comments. On every page elements that lift, unfold, pop up, or spin aren’t just slapped on, but actively contribute to the presentation. On a “Birth and Growing” spread, for instance, each of six eggs from ostrich to platypus is a flap with an embryo beneath; a spinner presents a slideshow of a swallowtail’s life cycle from egg to adult; and no fewer than three attached booklets expand on the general topic using other species. Subsequent spreads cover animal sight, hearing, body coverings, grasping and touch, locomotion, and—centering on a startling gander down the pop-up maw of a wolf—eating. The animals and relevant body parts are all clearly labeled, and the text is pitched to serve equally well both casual browsers (“Even fish pee!”) and young zoologists seriously interested in the difference between “scales” and “scutes” or curious about the range of insect-mouth shapes.

Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-281-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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