Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wild Ideas

Publisher Description
From the creators of You Are Stardust comes a new informational picture book that brings the big ideas of their first book down to earth. Wild Ideas looks deep into the forests, skies and oceans to explore how animals solve problems. Whether it's weaving a safe place to rest and reflect, blowing a fine net of bubbles to trap fish, or leaping boldly into a new situation, the animals featured (including the orangutan, humpback whale and gibbon) can teach us a lot about creative problem solving tools and strategies.Like You Are Stardust, this book uses lyrical text grounded in current science alongside wonderfully detailed art to present problems as doorways to creative thinking. Wild Ideas encourages an inquiry-based approach to learning, inviting readers to indulge their sense of wonder and curiosity by observing the natural world, engaging with big ideas and asking questions. An author's note at the end delves deeper into the research behind the text.

Nerdy Birdy

In this ornithologically themed story of social hierarchy and acceptance, it’s Eagle, Robin, and Cardinal’s world—all the other birds just live in it. Bespectacled, allergic-to-birdseed Nerdy Birdy is resigned to being dissed or dismissed until he discovers a band of “nerdy birdies” just like him—“At least half of them had inhalers,” writes Reynolds (Here Comes Destructosaurus!). “And most of them liked to play World of Wormcraft.” But when a hulking female vulture shows up, Nerdy Birdy discovers that his fellow outcasts can be just as clannish and snobbish as the cool guys (“Where are her glasses?” “And have you heard what she eats? Blecch!!”). There’s no missing the messages about groupthink and staying true to oneself, but Reynolds also includes lots of fine, goofy jokes at the bro birds’ expense (Eagle’s talents include throwing a football, while Cardinal excels at posing). And Davies (Ben Draws Trouble) draws laughs throughout with page after page of witty, Searle-esque drawings; his elegant, scraggly artwork has a comic timing all its own. Ages 4–8. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Sept.)

Snappsy The Alligator (Did Not Ask to be in This Book)

As the title makes clear, Snappsy, a skinny alligator who wears a pink tie, is not a happy camper. He is being trailed by an unseen narrator who alternates between drumming up drama (at one point accusing Snappsy of liking to “eat tiny, defenseless birds and soft, fuzzy bunnies,” even when it’s clear that mild-mannered Snappsy shops at the supermarket like everyone else) and falling down on the job. “You’re just describing what you see in the illustrations,” points out Snappsy. So who is this narrator, and what does she/he/it want? Meta-stories often have sour undertones—the joke is ultimately on somebody—but not this one. Snappsy is both highly civilized (he dons a fez while reading) and nobody’s fool, and the motivation of the narrator, when finally revealed, is almost touching. This is the first book for both Falatko and Miller, and it’s an excellent one—Falakto’s writing nimbly zigs and zags around Miller’s bold, goofy cartoons. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Danielle Smith, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Erica Rand Silverman, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Feb.)
-Publisher's Weekly

I Don't Like Snakes

Publisher Description
They're slithery and scaly, and they have icky, flicking tongues and creepy, unblinking eyes. What's to like about a snake? You'd be surprised!

This little girl has a problem. Her family doesn't have dogs, or cats, or birds--they have snakes! And she really, really, really really doesn't like snakes. Her family can't understand her dislike, but they canhelp her understand why snakes do the things they do and look the way they look. And maybe once she knows more, she will start to like snakes a little . . . or even a lot. Packed with snake trivia, this clever story includes realistic illustrations and simple explanations of snake behavior sure to make even slither-phobic readers shed their misconceptions about these fascinating reptiles. Back matter includes a note about snakes, a bibliography, and an index.


K-Gr 3—Though her outward appearance is chock-full of dirt, the fairy Bloom is delightfully talented. Underappreciated and misunderstood, she retreats into the wilderness. Without Bloom's magical touch, her kingdom falls into disarray, "held together by duct tape, glue, and peasants." Though the king and then the queen search for answers to fix their kingdom ("I am looking for a magical creature, gone so many years ago"), they are too haughty to understand the sprite's message when she places mud at their feet. A seemingly ordinary girl named Genevieve, whose only job in the kingdom is to carry the queen's delicate, unbreakable spoon, is next sent in their stead. Though initially puzzled by Bloom's mannerisms, Genevieve learns from the fairy and develops the skills she needs to rebuild her kingdom Bloom's inspiring outlook ("Tell them there is no such thing as an ordinary girl") paves the way for Genevieve to return home. Humor is laced throughout the charming narrative, highlighted through Genevieve's dramatic growth and the expressive ink and watercolor illustrations. Wavy, thin lines accentuate the ebb and flow of Bloom's magical world. Changing typography emphasizes key ideas and natural pauses within the story line. VERDICT This engaging, empowering tale proves the future of happily ever after is in one own's hands, regardless of how much dirt they may have on them.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC Copyright 2016 Reed Business Information.