A fine collection of poetical odes to a nicely diverse group of nighttime fauna.

AFTER DARK

POEMS ABOUT NOCTURNAL ANIMALS

Who’s out at night, and what do they do? These poems answer that for you.

Shhhh, listen… / Hear that howling? / Dogs don’t howl, / not like that.” It’s coyotes that are on the hunt, and everyone from mouse to deer better be on the lookout. Harrison’s night is broadly populated. Some mark their territory or hide from large predators. A mother skunk teaches her children not to venture into the road. Fireflies flash looking for mates in the grass, a little as though the insects are texting one another. Meanwhile: “Along a path of slime / you softly flow, / scraping holes in petals / as you go”; the leopard slug eats hollyhocks and daffodils, all the while leaving a slimy trail as proof it was there in the night. The Mexican free-tail bat is on bug patrol. Twenty-one animals who live by the light of the moon get profiled in Harrison’s poems, written in a variety of forms, some rhymed and most not. Each is featured in a one- or two-page spread with realistic, appropriately dark, attractive illustrations by Laberis. Though none are anthropomorphized, they still have plenty of personality. A kit fox yawns luxuriantly; a flathead catfish opens its huge mouth to suck in a hapless frog. Two pages of backmatter reveal four further facts about each profiled animal.

A fine collection of poetical odes to a nicely diverse group of nighttime fauna. (Picture book/poetry. 7-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62979-717-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Inviting and informative, with charming purrsonality.

KITTEN LADY'S BIG BOOK OF LITTLE KITTENS

Animal advocate and Kitten Lady blogger Shaw shares facts and her experiences fostering kittens.

As an animal foster parent, Shaw provides a temporary home and special care to vulnerable kittens until they find an adopter. Most of the kittens she shelters are orphans, often found in “unexpected places” like trash cans and the side of the highway without their mothers. Neonatal kittens, those with their eyes still closed and ears folded, are the most defenseless. In order to grow up healthy, kittens need help regulating their body temperature, receiving nutrients, learning to groom themselves, and getting appropriate amounts of rest and activity. Shaw celebrates every adoption. Her home is never empty because there are always more kittens in need. Photographs with playful embellishments accompany the first-person, informational narrative. The prose is full of cutesy language (“li’l peanuts”; “snuggle-dumplings”), but the casual conversational style fits the undeniable sweetness of the kittens and doesn’t detract from the educational aspect of the text. Words set in bold, green text are defined in the glossary. Shaw adds a personal touch by naming many of the kittens depicted in the photographs and using them as examples as she describes the details of kitten care. Although she emphasizes the dedication and hard work required for raising kittens, she encourages readers to get involved and suggests creative ways to help.

Inviting and informative, with charming purrsonality. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3894-1

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more