Captivating, informative, and useful as a browser and learning tool for primate aficionados.

FOURTEEN MONKEYS

A RAIN FOREST RHYME

Introducing a fascinating primate community.

Fourteen different species of monkeys live together harmoniously in the tropical splendor of the Manú National Park in southeastern Peru. Readers learn that these delightful creatures maintain their peaceful co-existence due to the varying altitudes at which they live among the trees and because of their different sizes, diets, and behaviors. Information abounds: Each species, aptly shown in an arboreal setting, is introduced and identified via a charming boldfaced couplet on facing pages of double-page spreads. Verses that mostly scan well present very basic facts about diet, habits, locomotion, and/or vocalizations; text set in a smaller font provides more-substantive information; pronunciation guides are provided where needed. For younger readers, the book may first be enjoyed via rhymes alone. Supplementing the rhymes and informative paragraphs in each spread is a small image of a tree against which an orange circle indicates the height in the rainforest where each monkey lives. Jenkins’ signature splendid illustrations, cut- and torn-paper collages, realistically depict the monkeys as colorful, lively, wide-eyed, winsome, and endearing; fur appears palpably plush. A page that requires a 90-degree turn at the conclusion elaborates on the altitudes in the rainforest at which the various species dwell; backmatter material includes thumbnail pictures and additional facts about all the monkeys featured. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Captivating, informative, and useful as a browser and learning tool for primate aficionados. (sources, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6039-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants.

A WORLD TOGETHER

Large color photographs (occasionally composed of montages) and accessible, simple text highlight global similarities and differences, always focusing on our universal connections.

While child readers may not recognize Manzano, the Puerto Rican actress who played Maria on Sesame Street, adults will recognize her as a trusted diverse voice. In her endnote, she explains her desire to “encourage lively conversations about shared experiences.” Starting out with the familiar, home and community, the text begins with “How many WONDERFUL PEOPLE do you know?” Then it moves out to the world: “Did you know there are about 8 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet?” The photo essay features the usual concrete similarities and differences found in many books of this type, such as housing (a Mongolian yurt opposite a Hong Kong apartment building overlooking a basketball court), food (dumplings, pizza, cotton candy, a churro, etc.), and school. Manzano also makes sure to point out likenesses in emotions, as shown in a montage of photos from countries including China, Spain, Kashmir (Pakistan/India), and the United States. At the end, a world map and thumbnail images show the locations of all photos, revealing a preponderance of examples from the U.S. and a slight underrepresentation for Africa and South America.

Engaging, well-chosen images and a clear, coherent text illuminate the importance of empathy for the world’s inhabitants. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3738-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard.

HELLO AUTUMN!

Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season.

Name a change seen in northern climes in fall, and Rotner likely covers it here, from plants, trees, and animals to the food we harvest: seeds are spread, the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and fall (and are raked up and jumped in), some animals migrate, and many families celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. As in the previous book, the photographs (presented in a variety of sizes and layouts, all clean) are the stars here, displaying both the myriad changes of the season and a multicultural array of children enjoying the outdoors in fall. These are set against white backgrounds that make the reddish-orange print pop. The text itself uses short sentences and some solid vocabulary (though “deep sleep” is used instead of “hibernate”) to teach readers the markers of autumn, though in the quest for simplicity, Rotner sacrifices some truth. In several cases, the addition of just a few words would have made the following oversimplified statements reflect reality: “Birds grow more feathers”; “Cranberries float and turn red.” Also, Rotner includes the statement “Bees store extra honey in their hives” on a page about animals going into deep sleep, implying that honeybees hibernate, which is false.

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3869-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more