Friday, March 20, 2020

Bo the Brave - a review

Bo the Brave
By Beth Woollvin
Peachtree, 2020

Bo the Brave is a delightful tale of adventure and derring-do with a strong female protagonist. When Bo's brothers set off on a quest to catch a monster, Bo is left behind—too small, they tell her. Bo decides to go off on a quest of her own. Armed with an arrow, a net, or a sword, she approaches each beast with a signature catchphrase, "Get ready to be got!" But the monsters Bo encounters are not really monsters at all. In fact, they're quite kind,

"You simply MUST learn to swim," the creature bellowed, plucking Bo from the waves. "And me? A monster? Don't be ridiculous. I am the Kraken! I mean you no harm."

When Bo finally does find monsters, they're certainly not the type she'd been seeking.

This good-sized book has Beth Woollvin's signature style artwork (Little Red, Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel).  Bo's hair and cape are lovely shades of pink and the creatures are sufficiently mythical without being scary. This is a longer read-aloud for attentive 4-year-olds and up. The suggested age range is 5-9. Bo is an enchanting adventurer.

On sale in April, 2020.  My copy was provided by the publisher.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Nature's Ninja - a review

Nature's Ninja: Animals with Spectacular Skills
By Rebecca L. Johnson
Millbrook, 2019

Below is my review as it appeared in the October, 2019, edition of School Library Journal.

Gr 4-9–Animals are compared to Japan's medieval ninja warriors in this picture book for older readers. Nine chapters follow an introduction offering background information on the practiced arts of the ninja. Each chapter features an animal with natural abilities closely aligned to a particular ninja skill and begins with the skill highlighted in a stylized text box—"CHOHO: Spying—infiltrating an enemy's camp or society without being discovered." Rove beetles have the natural ability of a choho master. Amazingly, they look, smell, and even behave like army ants, living among the wellknown predators. They've even been seen eating army ant larvae! Geckos and sailfish are among the other featured creatures. In addition to a description of the animal's ninja- like skill, there is a section on each creature titled "The Science Behind the Story." Photographs and scientific graphics illustrate each comparison. Back matter is comprehensive and includes a glossary, index, and "Meet the Scientists." VERDICT Both the premise and execution of this title are intriguing. Steer older students toward this book; they will not be disappointed.

Beneath the Waves - a review

As we read disturbing news accounts of dying manatees , environmental disasters caused by toxic waste, and ocean pollution on the scale of ...