A gentle lesson to always listen to your inner hero and help others do the same.


From the Super Manny series

Super Manny (Super Manny Stands Up!, 2017) returns to tackle an important environmental concern.

Inventive raccoon Manny and his hedgehog sidekick, Gertie (“Small One” from the duo’s previous outing), meet every weekend to rid the world of dangerous foes. They snap on their capes and proclaim: “We are mighty!… / We are awesome!… / We are tough!… / We are smart!” They wrestle menacing veggies at the farmers market, save the museum from stampeding dinosaurs, and befriend a 12-foot-tall purple yeti who just wants to play. Throughout, the creatures they imagine are rendered in translucent monochrome tones, differentiating them from the full-color real world the children move through. The most difficult monsters are often found in the park. While in the middle of a daring rescue to save the pond from alien space turtles, Manny and Gertie see a real turtle with a plastic soda ring around its neck. They take a look around and realize the whole park is covered with trash. It must be the work of litterbugs! (Tiny, frowning, brown imaginary insects stomp around, messing everything up.) However, more alarmingly, no one else seems to notice or care. Fighting apathy just might be the most difficult battle Manny and Gertie have ever faced.

A gentle lesson to always listen to your inner hero and help others do the same. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5962-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.


Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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An adorable adventure in cartography.


An exercise of spatial thinking through a snowy forest.

Camilla the warthog collects maps. Maps of stars, New York, even the London Tube. She even owns an ancient map of her forest. Unfortunately for her, she believes all lands have been explored and there is nothing new to chart. However, with a snowy morning comes a new opportunity. When her hedgehog neighbor, Parsley, asks for her help in finding the creek, Camilla quivers with excitement when she realizes the snow-covered land “is uncharted territory.” With all landmarks covered in snow, Camilla and Parsley must use their spatial-reasoning skills and a compass to find a new way to the creek. Their trailblazing journey proves a challenge as they keep bumping into trees, rocks, and walls. But when they find the creek, Camilla will have all the information and tools ready to draw out a new map, to break out in case of another snowfall. Wood’s delightful illustrations and Dillemuth’s expertise in the matter engage readers in the woodland creatures’ adventures. In addition, Dillemuth, who holds a doctorate in geography, provides activities in the backmatter for parents and caregivers to help children develop their own spatial-reasoning skills, such as sketching and reading maps or using cardinal directions.

An adorable adventure in cartography. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3033-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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