Publishers Weekly Collard explores how a forest devastated by a fire slowly recuperates, focusing on the work of biologist Richard Hutto, who studies the birds that thrive in burned forests. Photographs of birds perched atop blackened tree trunks are striking and intriguing, as is the chronicle of Hutto's meticulous field work ("Dick discovered that birds don't just use or visit burned areas. Many birds depend on them"). Individual birds like the hairy woodpecker and mountain bluebird are profiled in sidebars, and a chart lists the birds that most frequently populate new burn areas. While Collard doesn't suggest that "we should let all fires run amuck," he challenges the practice of fire suppression, pointing to how the excess dead wood and vegetation have resulted in more extreme fires. The resounding message: forest fires offer an opportunity to learn more about nature's spectacular resilience. Ages 8-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Designed to mimic the experience of visiting a natural history museum, this elegant, eye-catching volume (first in a planned series) explores the animal kingdom through gorgeously detailed pen-and-ink illustrations that resemble vintage taxonomical plates. Each "gallery" is devoted to a different class of animal: invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Within, Broom and Scott highlight individual species, which are succinctly described: the tomato frog of Madagascar "is nocturnal, burying itself in the moist earth during the day and emerging to hunt at night." It's easy to imagine these exquisite images hanging in the gilded hallways of a museum, but unlike a museum, readers can take this experience along with them. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Gr 3-5-These two animal-focused nature books will make kids sit up and take notice. The attractive photos from the National Wildlife Federation show bald eagles performing acrobatics in mid-air; zebras delivering a swift kick, leaving lion predators in their dust; shape-shifting spiders; and a South American male frigate bird with a bright red "bubble chin." The upbeat, accessible text is factual and entertaining, including funny headers and the occasional joke ("What's worse than a jaw of sharp, curved teeth? Two jaws, that's what!"). Each installment contains practicable "Scavenger Hunt" ideas to cultivate scientific observation skills. While younger students will love the vivid photos, older ones will appreciate the informative material. Solid wildlife overviews.-Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly What do hyenas, proboscis monkeys, and vampire bats have in common? Vomit. This companion to Cusick's Get the Scoop on Animal Poop! examines how and why various animals regurgitate their food. If the photographs of vomiting animals don't win over readers, the colorful subtopics should, from "Toxic Puke Defense" ("When a bird eats a milkweed-feeding monarch, the bird throws up") to "Puke Soup," about creatures that liquefy their prey using digestive enzymes. Cusick presents the material in a (very) immediate manner, providing readers with plenty of science, humor, and animal behavior facts to chew over-and even regurgitate. Ages 7-10. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Gr 1-4-Time for some circumpolar knowledge! Here, Hall highlights the similarities and differences between two of the most popular ice-dwelling creatures. She starts off by tackling a common erroneous assumption, explaining that the animals live on the opposite poles of the planet. Hall also compares fur to feathers, cubs to chicks, solitary to group living, and other concepts. Children will enjoy the sharp, full-color photographs of the animals and their habitats, and many pages are full bleed, which allows readers to scan for interesting details of the ecosystem. This book would be excellent for sharing with large or small groups. However, it is marred by a few weaknesses. A discussion of how the animals live on opposite ends of the globe includes tiny, superimposed maps that are so small that readers won't be able to decipher the miniscule script, which features important words such as "Arctic" and "Antarctic." Even more egregious is the poorly photoshopped image of a polar bear sitting on an ice floe while the lights of the aurora borealis shine behind it. The photo has been clumsily composed, and the sky, stars, aurora, ice floes and water reflections look completely artificial, thus undermining this work's authoritativeness. The book ends with a mishmash of back matter that provides further material about both animals, true/false questions, and a life-cycle calendar. Though this book is serviceable, its flaws greatly reduce its usefulness.-Denise Schmidt, San Francisco Public Library (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.