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This is a beautiful and elegant coffee table-style book from the World of Eric Carle, who died in 2021. It is a large format book, with high-quality paper, binding, and printing throughout. It has a nice dust jacket and ribbon bookmark. It is arranged a bit like an alphabet book, from ant to zebra. Each page, or multi-page spread (cats get four fold-out pages), includes Carle’s colorful creations of all manner of animals. There are also development sketches and, typically, several versions of each animal, painted and cut out (in the style of Henri Matisse), from over the many years of his long and successful career. Like Matisse’s landmark book, “Jazz,” there are only occasional quotations from Carle, sprinkled throughout, in large and decorative text, often on one of his colorful backgrounds. I found this quote interesting, “I’ve come to realize that ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ is about hope. You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future.”

This is another gentle and poetic entry in the Little Owl series. Little Owl flies around at night, noticing all the things he loves — the stars, the crickets’ song, and his friends, who explain what they love at night, too. The illustrations are abstract, yet lovely, and the text is as lovely as could be. This is a beautiful book that readers young and old will be captured and feel the love on every page.

This is a nonfiction book that showcases the wide wonders of the natural world, especially the many varieties of animals everywhere. The 57-page book features chapters that group animals with certain similarities, such as camouflage. A typical two-page spread features lithograph-style illustrations, using a limited yet expressive palette, with brief paragraphs, each with a different subheading. For instance, the Chameleon two-page spread, with subheadings on 360-degree Vision, Legs and Tail, Fastest Tongue, Jackson’s Chameleon, Brookesia Nana, Lanced Nose Chameleon, Campan’s Chameleon, and Veiled Chameleon. I remember such books back when I was a child, and my school’s library stocked similar works by the dozen. I would read them over and over. They’re still as wonderful as I remember, yet this is a lot more imaginative than they once were.

This book seems retro to me in several ways. It’s one of those nonfiction books that libraries used to stock by the dozen, with a catalog of creatures, intriguingly described in brief paragraphs with specific subheadings, showing the incredibly wide variety of insects, bugs, and other little critters everywhere. The well-written book features a limited palette of older illustrated books, used expressively throughout.

This is a delightfully disgusting book about the many strange (and stranger) creatures at the bottom of the seas. Mucus and poop figures large in this purposely weird and humorous book that is both funny and incredibly informative. The illustrations are fun, and the text is a delight, even when the creatures themselves are so wondrous (and/or gross) it’s beyond belief. The fun-filled weirdness is all fascinating. Extremely well-designed, written, and printed. This is the best book on the ocean depths I’ve ever read.

This sweet, rhyming book tells the story of a pack of wolves watching over a new litter of pups. The rhymes tell about their first few weeks, including their being relocated to avoid a flooding river, their eyes opening, their ears lifting up, and more. Their development is marked by the shifting phases of the moon. It’s a sweet and informative tale, well written, and nicely illustrated, designed, and printed. It is sure to be loved by any child who likes dogs (and wolves), and it would be especially well-suited for little ones who might have a new puppy (or baby) coming to their home soon.

This is a clever book, with cute animals in simple settings, having an ongoing argument with the narrator of the book, who is off the page, with them all talking using speech bubbles. The narrator would love to have this be the BEST BOOK EVER, but the animals are less sure. Who can help them pull things together? Kids will love this fun and funny book, which is a delight to read aloud with children.

This fun and funny children’s book features an amusing conversation between a hoatzin bird and its chick. The parent is explaining the birds’ curious peculiarities, including its awful smell, and how the chicks can both swim and climb back into their nests. The book is very interesting for kids who won’t mind (or would be delighted by) a little gross-ness. I think the book is not only informative, but it also might help kids realize that we all have our own superpowers that make us each a little special. Or stinky. It’s a fun time, either way!

This is a beautifully illustrated book that tells the incredible true-life story of Yoshi, a sea turtle. When young, she was rescued from a fishnet and nursed back to health. She lived in an aquarium for years. Scientists were worried she wouldn’t be able to swim in the ocean well enough to survive. Yet, when fully grown, she was released back into the ocean with a tracking device that showed her incredible journey. It appears the scientists’ worries were unfounded! It’s a lovely book for any child who loves these beautiful and elegant creatures of the seas.

This is an imaginative book filled with wonders in the oceans, especially sharks. A little girl and her hermit crab guide take a magical tour of the seas, helping sharks along the way. Eventually, they encounter a young woman who, like the little girl, is eager to help (and learn more about) sharks around the world. Who could this young woman be, who loves sharks as much as this curious little girl? Beautiful illustrations help enliven this lovely story of an interesting journey to becoming a marine biologist.

This is a fun and interactive book that encourages children to act out specific actions that baby raccoons do as they grow from birth to become adults. The illustrations are cute and fun. The text is engaging throughout, and the vignettes of children acting out a few raccoon behaviors (“Crawl! Cling! Climb!”) are fun to see examples of how children might pretend to be a baby raccoon. The playtime ideas are clever and well-conceived. It will help children to think of their own childhoods and how they, also, can learn by doing.

This is another of a series from this talented duo, where children are encouraged to play along as they mirror a simple version of a bee’s life and various tasks it might perform throughout its life (“Twitch! Touch! Turn!”). The fun is added to with clever descriptions of what bees do, with the playful vignettes adding fun to the story, while reinforcing the ample learning found in the book. This is a fantastic book for any child who loves bees!

This is a wonderful and imaginative story of a little girl who learns how to turn herself tiny — for one day only! — to ride around and play as the dragonflies do. There’s a brief stop for tea with the fairies but watch out for the frogs! This charming story winds real life facts with fanciful fun for everyone!

In this charming tale, a little girl often reads books to her friend, Bear, who is (of course) a bear. All is well until Bear decides that she wants a book of her own. But the little girl has a disguise that should allow the bear to pick out a red-raspberry book of his own. Or not! This delightful story ends with a delightful twist for us all. The cute illustrations add warmth to this charming story that reminds us of the value and magic of books, for children of all ages.

This delightful story, with charming illustrations, tells the story of a talented and creative little girl (and her pet dog) who is able to make anything she likes, just how she likes. But when she realizes that she can’t make a sweater that fits right, she begins to realize that sometimes, even when, “It’s not quite what I intended, but in some ways, it’s even better. Much better, in fact!” It’s a valuable lesson — and one the neighborhood dogs appreciate every time it snows.