These brief glimpses will whet the appetites of wannabe wanderers of all ages.

HOW TO BABYSIT A LEOPARD

AND OTHER TRUE STORIES FROM OUR TRAVELS ACROSS SIX CONTINENTS

A husband-and-wife team, seasoned travelers, artists, and children’s-book creators, offer readers a selection of highlights from 40 years of careful observation of the natural and human worlds in places near and far.

Since the publication of Gorilla Walk in 1999, the Lewins have produced numerous titles reflecting specific adventures, but this is the first joint compilation of their travel experiences. Working continent by continent and beginning with their first safari to the Serengeti, they recount their adventures as if they were conversing with readers; sometimes one talks, sometimes the other. Some anecdotes are humorous and others sobering, especially as they note the effects of 30 years of civil war in Uganda or contrast the experience of a sloth bear in the wild with that of a captive dancing on the street near Delhi. There are scary encounters with lions, elephants, snakes, leeches, and a sharp-billed macaw—not to mention soldiers. There are curious foods—mopani worms and mushrooms the size of pizzas. They travel by horse cart and reindeer sledge and atop an elephant. They admire French bullfighters and Mongolian wrestlers and horses everywhere. They marvel, too, at spectacles close to home: a cattle roundup in Nevada, horseshoe crabs massed on the Delaware shore.

These brief glimpses will whet the appetites of wannabe wanderers of all ages. (Nonfiction. 8 & up)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-59643-616-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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This canine tale is a fine beginning resource for bullied kids and the adults who care about them.

GABE & IZZY

SPEAKING UP FOR AMERICA'S BULLIED

Ford’s motivational story of overcoming bullying and disability will appeal to dog lovers as well as kids coping with bullying.

Some pets really do take after their owners. When the author contracted Friedreich’s ataxia, a disease that erodes her speech and coordination, as a young teen, she endured bullying as well. She found a friend in Izzy, a coonhound that helped her to finally face her disability. When Izzy displayed eerily similar symptoms, they both discovered a great capacity for kindness in the people around them and became famous in the process, educating kids nationwide about bullying. Their intriguing story is more told than shown; many major events read like summaries. The author’s conversational tone softens the issues of disability and bullying for young readers, but it also glosses over incidents that invite deeper reflection. She writes that she viewed a wheelchair as “giving in” for so long that a fall broke her bones—how does she discuss that with wheelchair-bound kids without making them feel that they’re “giving in”? Ultimately, though, the empathetic student feedback punctuating her story supports her opinion that “[s]imply to hear someone talking openly about bullying makes them feel they’ve already been rescued.” Brief individual appendices for kids, parents and educators offer advice for dealing with bullying.

This canine tale is a fine beginning resource for bullied kids and the adults who care about them. (Memoir. 10 & up)

Pub Date: March 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4062-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Puffin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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A stimulating plunge for casual browsers and serious students alike.

ULTIMATE OCEANPEDIA

THE MOST COMPLETE OCEAN REFERENCE EVER

A compendium of all things oceanic, from surface to depths, covering biology, geology, coasts, climatic phenomena, and human use and abuse.

Considering the size of the general topic, the coverage isn’t as shallow as it might be. Hundreds of crisply professional nature photos and big, easy-to-follow charts and diagrams anchor waves of densely packed but often breezy commentary (“Many parrotfish species also make their own sleeping bags at night—out of mucus!”) that Wilsdon pours in beneath such headers as “It’s a Shore Thing” and “Belize It or Not!” Overviews of each ocean, of plate tectonics, the action and effects of ocean currents, worldwide climate change, and physical features from islands to abyssal plains sail by in succession, but marine biology takes pride of place with page after page of photogenic sea life from tiny krill on up to whales and polar bears. The author profiles a marine ecologist and interviews an oceanographer to cap chapters on modern research, exploration, and industries, then closes with generous lists of sites to visit physically or virtually.

A stimulating plunge for casual browsers and serious students alike. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2550-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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