Friday, October 18, 2019

Little monsters of the ocean: Metamorphosis under the waves by Heather L. Montgomery

Most kids are familiar with the metamorphosis of butterflies and frogs - there are plenty of stories about them, both real and imaginary, and they may even have watched the process in their classroom. Unless they ran across an old copy of Pagoo though, they probably never encountered the complex and fascinating world of metamorphosis under the sea. Montgomery plunges right in, exploring the different ways sea creatures metamorphose and how this process fits into their own and other life cycles. Readers will learn what plankton really is, how giant clams, jellyfish, and crabs get to their final forms, and much, much more.

The book is dense, packing a lot of information into 50 pages, but photographs and helpful facts sprinkle the pages, breaking up the information, which is written in Montgomery's readable and interesting style. Back matter includes an author's note, talking about her research process and the excitement of unanswered questions, a chart of life stages, glossary, bibliography, further resources, websites, index, and acknowledgement.

Verdict: This won't be for everyone, and like many of Lerner's more dense science titles it's a bit expensive, but future microbiologists and marine biologists will find this an invaluable resource and a fascinating and inspiring read.

ISBN: 9781541528987; Published January 2019 by Millbrook/Lerner; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Thursday, October 17, 2019

You can be an entomologist: Investigating insects with Dr. Martins

This book combines a lot of great elements to create an insect book that will appeal to many different audiences (except, probably, people with insect phobias). It's a great overall format and I look forward to more "You can be an.... " titles.

Narrated by a real entomologist, Dr. Martins explains what an entomologist is, what he does in particular, and how kids can study insects. He answers questions about insects, showing how important they are to life on earth and how little is known about them. The book finishes up with directions for studying insects, finding a new species, a simple glossary, and a page of credits, resources, and identification for three insects without captions.

What makes this book so useful, is that it can be read aloud, using just the text in the boldest, biggest font and looking at the pictures. It can be read alone, by a beginning reader, with a little help for some of the more complex vocabulary words. It can be studied by a group, with suggestions for research and many jumping-off points for learning more about insects and entomologists. It's also interesting! Dr. Martins explains how and why he works with insects and a little about the different places he works, especially in Kenya.

Verdict: A must-have for easy nonfiction sections, classrooms, and anyone interested in studying and learning about insects. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781426333545; Published April 2019 by National Geographic Kids; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: I love my dragon by Jodi Moore and Are you my monster? by Amanda Noll, illustrated by Howard McWilliam

Flashlight takes two of its most popular properties - Amanda Noll's Monster series and Jodi Moore's Dragon titles - and takes them down to board book audiences.

I was initially very skeptical about this. Both are illustrated by Howard McWilliam and while his digital pictures are bright and attractive, they're also kind of scary! This is perfect for the picture book audiences who love to giggle over the gruesome monsters and the cute twist of the ending, but how well would it go over with babies and toddlers? It turns out that these authors and illustrator have done an excellent job making these both appealing and appropriate for little ones.

Amanda Noll's Are you my monster? introduces the unnamed little boy of the picture books as a toddler in his pajamas, with an oversized head and big brown eyes. The story gets around the scary monster aspect by introducing the monster as a picture. The little boy is searching for his monster and uses the checklist to compare other monsters - a green dandy with mustaches, fluffy red creature with four eyes, hairy blue monster with a big tongue, and so on. Eventually, he finds his own monster, giving a toothy grin. The next page shows the little boy leaning over the bed, with his monster as a small stuffed toy and the last spread shows them cuddled up in bed together. Although some kids might get upset by the monsters, the "just a toy" ending should reassure them. The story also teaches kids comparison as they mark off the list for each monster! This book is a nice 7x7 size.

Jodi Moore's I love my dragon is a smaller size, about 6x6. It features the mischievous, bright red dragon of the picture books growing up with the unnamed boy. Starting as a baby, his dragon entertains, cares for, and accompanies him everywhere. He's shown peeking out in pictures, celebrating on the beach in a wave to the original picture book, helping the boy care for his baby brother, and curled up together for a nap. The bright colors are attractive and the cheerful exploration of daily fun will inspire small dragon fans.

Verdict: For parents and little ones who like the colorful pictures of McWilliams and just a little frisson of adventure and fear, these will be the perfect choices for snuggling up at bedtime.

Are you my monster? by Amanda Noll
ISBN: 9781947277328

I love my dragon by Jodi Moore
ISBN: 9781947277304

Published August 2019 by Flashlight; Review copies provided by publisher

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How I met my monster by Amanda Noll, illustrated by Howard McWilliam

It's too bad this isn't released until November, because it's a perfect Halloween storytime book - not too scary, but just scary enough. However, there are plenty of fans of the series who enjoy a good monster story any time of the year and you can always preorder!

When a small Ethan finds a note under his bed, reading "Monsters! Meet here for the final test." he thinks his parents are just trying to scare him into staying in bed. He didn't expect real monsters to show up - or that he's the test! A set of furry monsters show up, accompanied by their spindly yellow teacher, and each takes a shot at scaring Ethan. As the tests continue, only Gabe passes each one, but Ethan eludes him and sneaks down to the kitchen for a snack. It's too bad he doesn't know what happens when you feed a monster...

This is a sweet story of the beginning of a friendship, complete with drool and threats to nibble toes! It's clear from Ethan's grin that he knows it's all a game, but he's enjoying the shivers that monstrous Gabe produces. It will probably remind a lot of readers of Monsters Inc. but it's still its own creation, fitting into the series by adding the origin story of the two friends.

Verdict: This series, and the latest addition, are the perfect choices for kids who like something just a little scary but not too scary. Fun for Halloween or any time of the year.

ISBN: 9781947277090; Published November 2019 by Flashlight Press; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

Monday, October 14, 2019

Bird count by Susan Edwards Richmond, illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman

This book celebrates a unique holiday tradition - a Christmas bird count! Narrated by Ava, it explains how citizen science works in real life.

Ava, who has brown skin and reddish brown hair, eagerly wakes her mom up early on a winter Sunday for the Christmas Bird Count. Her mom, with the same brown skin and short, brown hair, sleepily joins her in getting dressed for the cold weather. They meet up with Big Al, the team leader, who is white with a red beard. Big Al reminds Ava of the rules, "Count every bird you see or hear...Make sure at least two people see or hear it. And don't count any bird twice." He also reminds her that her most important tools are her "eyes and ears."

They're off and Ava gets to take the tally for the first time! As they drive through and around town, they hear owls, see chickadees and sparrows, watch geese flying over, recognize some birds by their flight patterns and others by their songs. They visit the marsh and see ducks and herons, then break for lunch. They visit neighborhood feeders, investigate a report of an ovenbird, and see the geese again - they don't count this time! Finally, the mockingbird and raven that Ava heard and saw in the beginning come back and this time they count, since Big Al and her mom both see them.

The day ends with a party around a bonfire and they turn in their tally to the circle chief, who reports for all the teams, a woman with brown skin and long, dark brown hair. Back matter includes a snippet about each bird featured in the book, an author's note, and some resources for birdwatching and learning more about birds.

Coleman's illustrations are full of warm colors and interesting textures. They look like a combination of collage and colored pencil, although they were rendered digitally. The birds are all easily identifiable and the depiction of a small, rural town is very nice. Some things that I especially appreciated about this book was showing women, and people of color, participating in outdoor activities in a rural area (not all people of color live in urban centers!) and it tickled my fancy that the girl had a "regular" name. I can think of about five Ava's her age or a little younger right off the bat and I've had kids complain before about the "weird" names kids get in books!

Verdict: A fun and refreshing look at a unique outdoor activity. Hopefully this will inspire readers to participate in their own bird count or just to spend more time outdoors using their eyes and ears.

ISBN: 9781561459544; Published October 2019 by Peachtree; F&G provided by publisher; Purchased for the library

Sunday, October 13, 2019

North America: A Fold-Out Graphic History by Sarah Albee and William Exley

When I received this, I had... doubts. Of course, it was Sarah Albee, whose work I always find enjoyable and informative, but a giant fold-out book? Was this something I could put in the library? I was pleasantly surprised to see how sturdy it was and I think I will try adding it and see how it lasts.

The "story" starts around 13,000 BCE. You can read it like a book, turning the pages for one side and then flipping back to read the second half, or you can spread the whole thing out and then turn it over. Short paragraphs surround and interweave the illustrations with facts, events, and interesting information. Longer paragraphs, on a white background, set major milestones for the continent, from the spread of humans to the invasion of Europeans.

The illustrations are primarily in muted hues of blue, peach, and yellow, with touches of white, brown, and green. The text is set against small colored sections with mini black arrows pointed towards the relevant illustrations.

A huge draw of this for me, besides the unique format, was that Albee does an amazing job of giving an unbiased, truly broad overview of North American history. Rather than devoting an inordinate amount of space to relatively minor events in the US (why do so many history books think kids absolutely must know extensive details about the Pony Express?) she gives plenty of space to events in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the lives of indigenous people before and after the arrival of Europeans. This is shown even in the source materials, like the map at the end which shows the states of the US... and the states of Mexico! How many maps show those, or just shove a blank "Mexico" in there?

There is a glossary, index (tied to the date ranges since there are no page numbers), and source notes.

Verdict: Although this may not last long, it's a unique and important resource. It would make a great classroom addition and, I think with some reinforcement, might last quite a while on library shelves.

ISBN: 9781999967925; Published October 2019 by What on Earth; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

Saturday, October 12, 2019

This week at the library; or, How many incident reports can I write in a week?

Happening this week
  • Monday
    • Paws to Read
    • Managers' Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • Toddlers 'n' Books (2 sessions)
    • LOTG: OPtions
    • VIP volunteers
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
    • Books 'n' Babies
    • Outreach/Professional Development: Parents' Night/Applied behavior presentation
  • Friday
    • Kohls Wild Theater
    • 2nd grade field trip (2 sessions)
    • Anime Club
  • Saturday
    • Cards for Veterans
  • Worked 38 hours: 11 hours on desk; 9 programs
Notes
  • This week was busy so naturally I started it with a dentist appointment, interleaved it with a nice variety of other things (flu shot! rescheduled flu shot! car needs its own appointment!) and reached truly epic heights of forgettingness about what was happening. Possibly b/c when I wrote out this week's staff "what's happening" I accidentally combined it with next week...
  • Then I had to reschedule stuff b/c of the sudden change in the weather on Friday but then it changed back and was rescheduled and now I need to get a new car and... I'm going home.
Collection development notes
  • Request for missing vol. 11 of Skulduggery Pleasant

Friday, October 11, 2019

Digging deep: How science unearths puzzles from the past by Laura Scandiffio

I never expected to be wowed by a book on archeology, but as soon as I read this I put it on my "must-purchase" list and am eagerly looking for families to suggest it to as I write!

An introduction explains how archaeologists research the past and how science has changed the way they do this as well as given new views of older discoveries. The book itself tackles six fairly well-known archaeological finds (well, I knew about them anyways - I've started discounting anything as well-known or even known at all). The first is the prehistoric man found in the alps in 1991, named Otzi the Iceman. Research continued to produce new knowledge about Otzi's life and time period, up to the present day, when scientists were able to use new DNA techniques to discover more about Otzi's life. The chapter ends with a section labeled "What we thought we knew... and what we know now" which summarizes the original find and research and how it's changed through new scientific advances.

Each of the following chapters follows the same structure as they explore a Stone Age cave in South Africa where they find what may be the oldest poison (this one was new to me) in 1940, lost cities in Cambodia discovered through lidar, the shipwrecks of the Erebus and Terror in the Arctic, the mystery of the death and missing grave of Richard III, and Chauvet cave in France, where some of the earliest prehistoric art was discovered. This book gives readers a new view of science - and history - challenging old ideas about indigenous, non-Western societies, exploring the ways science changes the way we think, and encouraging readers to look forward to new discoveries and their own research and exploration.

Back matter includes sources, further reading, an index, and image credits.

Verdict: A unique and scientific look at history, archeology, and research. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781773212395; Published April 2019 by Annick Press; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

Thursday, October 10, 2019

How to be on the moon by Viviane Schwarz

The first adventure of Anna, an adorably chubby brown girl, and Crocodile, showed them going on an exciting treasure hunt for gold. Now in their second adventure, they’re going to the moon!

In a gray room, Anna and Crocodile are playing a board game when Anna gets a great idea: "Let's go to the moon!" Despite Crocodile's worries, the two set off. First, they need a lot of things - math, patience, speed, and sandwiches. Finally, they are off!

After enjoying being weightless in their rocket (which looks rather like a backyard playhouse with some imaginative additions), the two arrive on the moon. They explore, marvel at the sights, and finally decide they had better go back - the Earth might feel lonely. They arrive back, ready to explore more things right on earth.

Schwarz story has a gentle, but also funny mood. Adult readers can see exactly how it follows the free-wheeling thoughts of a child's imagination while children themselves will be delighted with the silly adventure and perhaps inspired to try creating their own adventures.

Verdict: A celebration of imagination and friendship, this is a great choice for space, friendship, and imagination storytimes. Have the kids draw or construct their own rockets afterwards and watch imagination take over!

ISBN: 9781536205459; Published June 2019 by Candlewick; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Duck by Meg McKinlay

McKinlay is a fairly new author and for her third book she pairs with a new artist who has a few picture books in his repertoire as well. Together, they've created a funny take on the old tale of Chicken Little.

A quiet afternoon on the farm is disturbed when a frantic duck comes running through the animals yelling DUCK! The persnickety animals explain to her that no, they are not ducks, they are a horse, cow, pig, and sheep. They grow increasingly patronizing and annoyed, while the frantic little duck, who has acquired a bucket hat, keeps up her cry of DUCK! until disaster occurs and the vindicated duck is the only one who doesn't get stuck under a falling house!

Eckstrom's humorous illustrations show the superior animals, wacky little duck, and plenty of jokes on the last page (a sign reads Kansas and the duck is wearing a funnel hat). The duck's wings are a misstep, looking oddly like angel wings or bits of cloud, but kids will be so happy to be yelling DUCK! at every moment, they won't notice.

Verdict: A fun story with a gentle moral about listening more and talking less!

ISBN: 9781536204223; Published August 2019 by Candlewick; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Leyla by Galia Bernstein

Leyla, a sweet little baboon, has a mother, father... and a huge crowd of aunts and cousins! Leyla needs a break, so she runs away from her smothering family. Leyla stomps off down a dusty hill, and promptly hurts her foot on a sharp rock and then is is startled by a blue lizard with a red head.

Leyla is curious, especially when the lizard tells her that he's busy doing... nothing. The lizard shows Leyla how to sit and meditate, hearing the wind and sounds around her and spending some time alone peacefully. At the end of the day, Leyla returns happily to her boisterous and loving family who listen in surprise and amazement to the story of her adventures and joyfully welcome her back, kissing her hurt foot. But Leyla knows when she needs a little space she can return to the lizard, to spend some quiet time doing nothing.

Bernstein's sweet illustrations and story were inspired by watching hamadryas baboons at the zoo as they excitedly crowded around a baby taking his first steps. Bernstein thought of the people in her own life and how they'd respond to so much family togetherness and the story was created. It's sweet, funny, and a gentle reminder that family - and friends - sometimes need a break.

Verdict: A good story to read aloud, especially to remind kids that sometimes even their friends and family need some quiet time alone. Plus, it's funny! Recommended.

ISBN: 9781419735431; Published May 2019 by Abrams; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

Monday, October 7, 2019

What does an anteater eat by Ross Collins

The kids have to know what an anteater is, right? Of course, I had a class of four year olds who refused to accept that lions and tigers were cats...

Anyways, this book introduces a goofy (if unlikely) series of animals as anteater searches for just exactly what he eats (was there a reason the anteater is male? I don't think so - this is one I'd change to she just to even things out a bit).

The story begins on a bare plain with anteater waking up from a nap and realizing "I'm hungry." But what, exactly, does he eat? He's forgotten! He tries asking a sloth who is too busy. A toucan suggests melons, but the anteater's mouth isn't wide enough. A rather sick snake doesn't know, but does suggest that whatever he eats he chews it first... a crocodile offers to share old fish, bats are busy catching bugs, and a hungry jaguar thinks the anteater looks tasty! The anteater tries one last time, very politely, asking an army of ants but they all run away! Naturally, this gives anteater the clue to what he eats...

bananas!

The publisher's flap describes the jaguar as a cheetah, but I'm going to correct that since they are the one animal that doesn't live by anteaters and the jaguar in the picture looks like, well, a jaguar. Clearly small children are not the only ones who don't know basic animal facts. Sigh.

Verdict: The anteater's face is hilarious and this not only introduces children to a number of South American animals (seriously, we're on the same continent and you don't know what a tapir is??) but will have them giggling hysterically as well.

ISBN: 9781536205916; Published July 2019 by Nosy Crow/Candlewick; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

Saturday, October 5, 2019

This week at the library; Hello, October

What's Happening
  • Monday
    • Open Storyroom
    • Paws to Read
  • Tuesday
    • Toddlers 'n' Books (2 sessions)
  • Wednesday
    • Open Storyroom
    • Outreach: Ozobots
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Worked 38.5 hours; 12 hours on desk; 2 programs
Notes
  • I was a bit distracted from work this week b/c my Mom moved up to WI from TX. She is now a cheesehead!
  • I still managed to write monthly reports, finish weeding the easy readers, run an outreach/maker space event, book club, and full morning of school visits, and do a lot of cataloging. Not all of it was good, but the books are in there...
  • Also still working on updating the maker kits and finished going through the monthly lost list. This is relevant, b/c I am currently missing at least 3 kits...
Collection Development Notes
  • Tom Gates - the 4th graders are really going for the notebook novels this year, but this one isn't very available.
  • Life of Fred - this is a homeschool curriculum that a lot of people have asked for. I will put it in my budget next year, it's expensive and not available through my vendor.
  • Children's dictionary. I thought I had one, but apparently not.
  • Spookley the square pumpkin - I have the dvd, but the book is out of print.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Captain Aquatica's Awesome Ocean by Jess Cramp with Grace Hill Smith and Joe Levit

This is the third book in the "Science Superheroes" series. Jess Cramp, a shark researcher and marine conservationist, is the author and hero of this book.

Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the ocean or conservation. Cramp and her co-authors explain tides and ocean weather, tidal and deep water zones, explore sharks and other marine creatures, and talk about conservation and the importance of the ocean to the earth. The text is dense, but broken up with science experiments, additional facts, photographs, profiles of other scientists, and more.

Back matter includes the traditional "how you can save the earth" suggestions (I have strong feelings about these but I'm not going into them now), glossary, index, photo credits, and resources.

I liked this title better than the previous one, Dr. E's Super Stellar Solar System, which had several pages of comics interspersed between each chapter. The comics were... not good. In this book, the comics are just dividers between each chapter, one or two pages each, and are more of a light relief than involved in the book in any way.

There's a ton of information included in this, but it's broken down into helpful sections, the most interesting of which are the chapters focusing on Cramp's own research where she talks about her experience and how the work she is doing helps the oceans or gathers information to make decisions about the future.

I would recommend this to strong readers who can handle a large amount of information and are serious about their interest in oceans and/or sharks. However, even readers who aren't as fluent can appreciate this by browsing or reading sections on the areas they're interested in. It would be even more useful as a reference title for teachers with the experiments and overview of a number of topics, providing jumping-off points for kids to explore further at their own reading level.

Verdict: The large amount of text makes this challenging, but ocean-loving, fluent readers and teachers will find it both interesting and useful.

ISBN: 9781426332920; Published June 2019 by National Geographic Kids; Review copy provided by publicist; Donated to the library

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The peculiar pig by Joy Steuerwald

The illustrations are cute and the story well-meant, but I found the message of this debut picture book to fall back on a problematic formula; it's only ok to be different if your differences "benefit" society.

The story begins with the appearance of a "different sort of piglet" in the barnyard one morning. The mother is a smiling pink pig with a litter of pink and black-spotted piglets, so the addition of a dachsund puppy certainly mixes things up. Observed by some kind of wren (it's got the tipped tail, but the coloring of a robin?) the new "piglet" struggles to fit in, being pushed aside and teased by the other piglets although the mother claims to love her. Eventually, when the piglets get their name, she gets one as well - Penny. Mama Pig assures her again that she loves all her piglets the same and Penny learns to appreciate her own differences, even though her siblings still think she's "peculiar." Finally, when a snake appears in the yard, Penny's bark turns out to be useful as she saves the day and scares the "scary hissing creature" away. Her siblings celebrate her differences now, trying to bark like she does, and "they all agreed that peculiar was perfect."

The art shows a green farm, a pleasant mix of traditional red barns and mud holes for the pigs with modern wired chicken coops and machinery. The pigs have wide, smiling mouths, even when they're taunting Penny, who curls up patiently and waits her turn for milk and her mother's attention.

It's a sweet story of appreciating and accepting differences and Kirkus gave it a starred review. But I have some serious issues with this story, especially as a method of introducing differences to young children. First, while assuring her of her love, Mama Pig never corrects her children's mean words or pushing behavior towards Penny. The little piglets are free to bully and taunt her as they like. Secondly, it's only after Penny has proved her worth that the other piglets accept her. This is a pervasive and I think very damaging viewpoint. Especially in regard to disabled people, but really for anyone. It's like saying that disabled people are "inspirations" for abled people and so serve a purpose. Kirkus suggests it's a good book for adoption and that sounds awful to me - it's basically telling adopted kids that they will only be accepted if they make a big enough contribution to their family! I would have liked this story much better if Mama Pig had corrected her other children and the piglets had learned to accept Penny's differences even if they never benefited them.

Verdict: The illustrations are cute and it's quite well done for a debut picture book, but the message really bothers me. It's a pervasive one that I don't think needs to be reinforced. Not recommended.

ISBN: 9780399548871; Published June 2019 by Nancy Paulsen Books; Review copy provided by publisher

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Small Readers: Katie Woo's Neighborhood: Helping Mayor Patty by Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Laura Zarrin

If you've ever dealt with city government, of any size, you'll see that this book is not... exactly realistic. However, it's a good thing to aspire to! Maybe I'll send a few copies to some city council members I know...

The story opens with Katie Woo meeting a new neighbor, Haley O'Hara who has five siblings. Katie leaves her old and new friends playing soccer to go with her mom to see her Aunt Patty's first meeting as mayor. Mayor Patty says the meeting is to decide how to spend the tax money. Each neighborhood says what they need. Mr. Mann, in a turban and with a beard, says his growing neighborhood needs a fire station. Ms. Miller, a white woman, says her neighborhood needs better street lights. Mr. Davis, an elderly black man, wants someone to stop the squirrels eating his birdseed. As each person suggests something, Katie and her friends talk quietly about what they think their neighborhood needs. Ice cream? Puppies? JoJo, a black girl, suggests thinking about what they see in their neighborhood and Katie draws a picture to help her think. Now they know what their neighborhood needs - a park! The council and mayor vote to fund all the requests; a new fire station, better lights, garbage cans, and a park.

There is a brief glossary, a section called "Katie's Questions" to go deeper into the story, and a fictional interview with Mayor Patty about her job. This is a more challenging easy reader; it has fairly complex, although limited, text and concepts. It's a 520 lexile, if that's what you use - in my library it would probably have a blue sticker at the highest level for easy readers.

Verdict: A good choice for schools wanting resources on community and civics and for Katie Woo fans.

ISBN: 9781515844570; Published August 2019 by Picture Window Books/Capstone; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Max Attacks by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan


In broad strokes, a blue cat with black stripes stalks across the pages of this funny book. Playful rhyming language, as playful as a hungry kitty prowling the room, accompanies Max's antics as he pounces on fish, scales a screen for lizards, chases a bird toy, and attacks socks. Max keeps returning to the fish, but when disaster strikes there's always his "bowl of crunchies" left to attack!


Appelt's skill with language is shown in the simple lines that trip off the tongue, making a fun read-aloud or an interactive book, encouraging kids to pounce, prowl, and leap just like Max. Dullaghan is a new illustrator, this being her debut book, and she matches nicely with Appelt's playful text. Max is a splash of blue paint on a gray-green background, leaping, exploring, and hunting his prey while the smug fish glide in pink and red circles in their bowl.

Verdict: Perfect for a lively cat-themed storytime, encouraging kids to get up and move like a cat, or cuddling up to giggle over Max's antics, this delightful new picture book is sure to be loved by children, be they feline fans or not. Even better, it will work as well for toddler as for preschool storytimes, joining the ever-shrinking collection of books that have both literary and artistic merit and appeal for younger, wiggly children.

ISBN: 9781481451468; Published June 2019 by Atheneum; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library