Renewed public interest in a “green” world makes this a timely and welcome return for Crinkleroot.

CRINKLEROOT'S GUIDE TO GIVING BACK TO NATURE

From the Crinkleroot series

Forest-dweller Crinkleroot reappears to lead 21st-century readers outdoors, urging them to appreciate and give back to nature.

Arnosky’s bearded guide, inspired by 19th-century naturalist John Burroughs, was last seen in print in Crinkleroot’s Visit to Crinkle Cove (1999), but he has continued to educate schoolchildren through the PBS series Backyard Safari for many years. In this new title, the author focuses on things children can do on their own for their environment: provide food and appropriate habitat for wild creatures; pick up after themselves; keep stream waters clean; put animals back where they found them; don’t walk on dune grass. He gives detailed instructions for planting trees and for releasing fish unharmed. Dressed in a frontiersman’s costume and feathered hat and surrounded by forest creatures, Crinkleroot makes an appealing guide. (He discards his jacket for a life vest in his kayak.) His love for the natural world is evident, and he expects that readers will share it. Pen-and-ink illustrations, colored with ink acrylic washes, are full of accurate detail. Early on readers are offered a winter-bird-identification puzzle that capitalizes on this. Throughout, he shows and identifies creatures a sharp-eyed young naturalist might see outdoors (especially, but not solely, those who live in the eastern half of the country).

Renewed public interest in a “green” world makes this a timely and welcome return for Crinkleroot. (Informational picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: May 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-399-25520-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

ROBOBABY

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

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A lighthearted read that will offer comfort to young children that others too face challenges of friendship, teamwork and...

PARKER BELL AND THE SCIENCE OF FRIENDSHIP

In her debut chapter book, Platt shares the story of a young girl navigating friendships and the challenges of trying to win her school’s science triathlon.

Young Parker Bell is a curious child who loves science and aspires to match up to Mae Jemison and Jane Goodall one day. Her best friend and partner in science is coding whiz Cassie Malouf. They have been best friends since kindergarten, but Parker gets jealous when Cassie suddenly starts becoming friendly with Theo Zachary, a shy boy in their class. Parker worries that Cassie likes Theo more than her, and she fights hard to keep her friend. Matters only get worse when Cassie invites Theo to be part of their team for the science triathlon, which features a science trivia contest, an egg drop, and a presentation. In a somewhat predictable plot, Parker realizes she has a lot in common with Theo as she spends more time with him. Platt works hard to defy gender stereotypes. In addition to the girls’ STEM enthusiasm, Parker’s mom teaches phys ed, her dad owns a bakery, and Cassie’s mom teaches math. Zhai’s simple black-and-white illustrations of Parker, Cassie, and the classrooms provide a good visual aid to the story, depicting Parker and Theo as white and Cassie with dark skin and long black hair.

A lighthearted read that will offer comfort to young children that others too face challenges of friendship, teamwork and competition. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-97347-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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