Tailor-made for budding zoologists as well as casual browsers.


A slickly produced if arbitrarily ordered gallery of nocturnal wildlife, from leopards to the giant desert hairy scorpion, featuring dozens of close-up portraits and quick, easily graspable facts.

Sharply printed on coated paper against, usually, a black background and often angled to face viewers, the dominant central photograph or photorealistically rendered image on each spread creates an immediate visual impact with each turn of the page. Smaller surrounding photos focus on physical or behavioral highlights or introduce related creatures. Captions and comments tucked amid the images supply a browser-friendly mix of standard-issue descriptions and must-know observations. Among the latter: Vampire bats slurp and pee at the same time, owl “eyeballs” (sic) are tube-shaped, and railroad worms “survive by biting the heads off millipedes and sucking out the liquid from inside them!” Good stuff! The simultaneously published Monsters of the Deep offers similar infotainment with a marine cast that includes ratfish, snipe eels and several all-mouth anglerfish among the sharks, whales and other usual suspects.

Tailor-made for budding zoologists as well as casual browsers. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-77085-459-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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An engaging, informative introduction to ospreys for budding birders.



A young osprey named Belle completes her first 4,000-mile solo migration from Massachusetts to South America and back.

One spring, Dr. B., a scientist on Martha’s Vineyard who studies ospreys, selects Belle, a large, young female, to be equipped with a satellite transmitter dispatching messages tracking her movements every three days. By September, Belle has become an expert fish catcher and a strong flier, and she is poised for her migration south. Launching from Martha’s Vineyard, Belle flies nonstop for two days over the open Atlantic before resting on a cargo ship. Resuming her journey, Belle traverses a Bahamian island, Cuba, and the Caribbean Sea. A hurricane blows her into Colombia, and she eventually arrives in Brazil. A year and a half later, Belle returns to Martha’s Vineyard, taking an inland route to begin the next phase of her life. In this “mostly true story,” Bierregaard (the real Dr. B.) uses the real-life Belle, whose migration he tracked, to convey this lively, personalized look at migrating ospreys. Rendered in watercolor pencil, ink, and aqua crayon, the realistic, atmospheric illustrations rely on line and color to capture the drama of Belle’s amazing adventure.

An engaging, informative introduction to ospreys for budding birders. (map, further information, resources) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-792-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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A readable précis that offers a decidedly mixed message.


From the Wild Thing series

A case study in the tension between scientific objectivity and human nature.

Not quite convincingly trying to position herself on the side of science, podcaster and science journalist Krantz opens with lucid discussions of taxonomy and human evolution but then runs through the circumstantial evidence—“thousands” of outsized footprints, “thousands” of sightings in every state except Hawaii, numerous blurry photos dubbed “blobsquatches” by aficionados, a set of mysterious ground “nests” discovered in Washington state. And while Krantz acknowledges the so far total lack of “irrefutable proof,” she highlights the importance of keeping an open mind and recognizing that there are still unsolved mysteries in the world. On more personal notes, she records an exciting (but fruitless) overnight expedition with a group of experienced “squatchers” and the (negative) results of a DNA test on a sample taken from one of the aforementioned nests. Along with showing that she’s done diligent research, the backmatter includes an inventory of camping supplies for would be squatchers (including a “camera—to get blurry blobsquatch photos”) and a quick list of Bigfoot relatives worldwide. Still, notwithstanding Krantz’s claim that the real prize is the search itself, prospective cryptid hunters will find a better, if even less skeptical, overview in Kelly Milner Halls’ In Search of Sasquatch (2011)—with photos rather than the fanciful graphics of shadowy monsters sitting on a modern toilet or posing as caped superheroes.

A readable précis that offers a decidedly mixed message. (glossary, notes, sources, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5818-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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