Another nature lesson and environmental message from a specialist in translating the wonders of the natural world into terms children can understand. Arnosky (Field Trips, p. 405, etc.) gives the reader a peek into the life of a female sea turtle. As she comes to shore to lay her eggs, the scars we see on her shell serve as a segue for looking into her past. They tell the story of the many disasters, both natural and manmade, that she has encountered. A narrow escape from a shark resulted in one mark, while the crack in her shell was the consequence of a run-in with a motorboat. The scrapes and chips happened when the raging swirls of a waterspout caught her and tossed her about, finally landing her on the beach. Her final mishap left her unmarked, but wiser—as she was chasing some fish to eat, she became tangled in a fisherman’s net. Luckily, the man collected his fish, and set her free. Throughout it all, her survival instinct was strong. She had to survive for her children—the eggs she now lays, covers with sand, and leaves. The reader will see the hatchlings crawl to the sea, but the mother will not: “That is the turtle way.” Throughout, readers will marvel over Arnosky’s characteristic watercolor paintings, which truly bring nature to life. The soft blues, greens, and yellows of the water bring the reader right into the sea with the turtle. Especially captivating are his depictions of the mangrove cove where the turtle recuperates, and the adorable hatchlings as they scurry to the sea. Arnosky’s gentle combination of lesson and beautiful artwork will serve to capture the nature-lover in every child. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-399-22757-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among


Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


From the Turkey Trouble series

Turkey’s in the “kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving...and you’re the main course.” Accordingly, Turkey tries on disguise after disguise, from horse to cow to pig to sheep, at each iteration being told that he looks nothing like the animal he’s trying to mimic (which is quite true, as Harper’s quirky watercolors make crystal clear). He desperately squeezes a red rubber glove onto his head to pass as a rooster, only to overhear the farmer suggest a poultry plan B when he’s unable to turn up the turkey. Turkey’s horrified expression as he stands among the peppers and tomatoes—in November? Chalk it up to artistic license—is priceless, but his surroundings give him an idea. Good fun, but it may lead to a vegetarian table or two. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5529-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet