46 Booklist April 15, 2017 www.booklistreader.com
along the end papers, or family tree in the case of Sharks, and a preliminary quiz lets readers test their knowledge before diving into the main
text. Ancient Egypt contains helpful depictions of social structure and
famous pharaohs, but readers will likely find the spreads on beauty and
medicine especially fascinating. Unsurprisingly, Pirates covers notorious captains, ships, weapons, and booty, but readers may not be aware
that several types of pirates sailed the seas, such as buccaneers, privateers, and river pirates. Abandon ship to explore the shark-infested
pages of Sharks, which introduces the nine orders of this fearsome fish,
complete with scaled representations. Stone Age draws attention to the
shelters, tools, clothing, and art created by early humans while also
describing the megafauna living alongside them. The enticing format
of this series is busy without being overstuffed, making it ideal for
browsing or luring in reluctant readers. —Julia Smith
ROOKIE BIOGRAPHIES SERIES. SCHOLASTIC/
CHILDREN’S PRESS. GR. 1–3. ( 5 NEW TITLES).
Alexander Hamilton: American Hero. By K. C. Kelley.
2017. 32p. illus. paper, $5.95 (9780531227718); lib. ed., $23
Maurice Sendak: King of the Wild Things. By Jodie Shepherd.
2017. 32p. illus. paper, $5.95 (9780531227725); lib. ed., $23
Muhammad Ali: The Greatest. By Joanne Mattern. 2017. 32p. illus.
paper, $5.95 (9780531224472); lib. ed., $23 (9780531221174).
President Donald Trump. By Joanne Mattern. 2017. 32p. illus.
paper, $5.95 (9780531238608); lib. ed., $23 (9780531232262).
The reliable and accessible Rookie Biographies series has added several noteworthy names to its ranks. Alexander Hamilton gives a rounded
account of this trending Founding Father’s life, tracing his difficult
childhood; his contributions to America as a soldier, politician, and
lawyer; and his death at the hands of Aaron Burr. In the realm of children’s literature, Maurice Sendak reveals how the beloved writer and
illustrator challenged the status quo by creating empowering stories
where kids confronted feelings of anger and fear. Muhammad Ali
shines a light on this boxing champ and civil rights advocate, emphasizing how people all over the world viewed him as a hero. The business
prowess of our forty-fifth president takes center stage in President Donald Trump, which gives a measured account of his entrepreneurial
endeavors (successful and otherwise), stint as a television personality,
and presidential race. Designed with primary-school readers in mind,
these books utilize large fonts, ample white space, and liberal illustrations, which range from historical documents and artwork to modern
photographs. All the books are prefaced with a map showing where
each person was born or lived and conclude with a short poem summarizing his life, creative-writing or critical-thinking prompts, and a
time line. Excellent introductions to some important figures in history
and at work today. —Julia Smith
WHO EATS WHAT? SERIES. JUMP!/POGO. GR. 1–3.
( 6 NE W TI TLES).
Coral Reef Food Chains. By Rebecca Pettiford. 2017. 24p. illus. lib.
ed., $25.65 (9781620315736). 578.77.
Mountain Food Chains. By Rebecca Pettiford. 2017. 24p. illus. lib.
ed., $25.65 (9781620315767). 577.5.
Outback Food Chains. By Rebecca Pettiford. 2017. 24p. illus. lib.
ed., $25.65 (9781620315774). 577.160942.
Savanna Food Chains. By Rebecca Pettiford. 2017. 24p. illus. lib.
ed., $25.65 (9781620315729). 577.4.
A squirrel nibbling an acorn may go unnoticed in the backyard, but
these entries in the Who Eats What? series show the importance of
food chains around the world. Each title introduces a particular biome
and its climate and uses a map to show where each exists on the planet.
The bulk of the accessible text focuses on the makeup of food chains,
YOU HAVE A PET WHAT?! SERIES. ROURKE. GR. 3–6.
including producers, consumers, predators, and, finally, decompos-
ers, which help start the cycle again. Coral Reef Food Chains tells why
this biome is the most diverse, making up less than 0.2 percent of the
ocean floor but possessing nearly one-third of all ocean life. Mountain
Food Chains describes how mountains contain a variety of ecosystems
and how animals living there have produced adaptations to handle
extreme weather and terrain. Outback Food Chains highlights some of
the rare and unusual plants and animals that only exist in this biome,
such as the emu and rabbit-like bilby. Savanna Food Chains explains
where savannas are located but focuses on the African savanna—the
world’s largest. Each book presents examples of multiple food chains in
multiple formats, such as narrative depictions, charts, and high-quality
color photos. This visually enticing series will make learning early sci-
ence standards an enjoyable mission. —Angela Leeper
( 4 NE W TITLES).
Bearded Dragon. By Cristie Reed. 2017. 32p. illus. $32.79
(9781683421801); e-book, $32.79 (9781683422464). 639.3.
Miniature Donkey. By Karen Latchana Kenney. 2017. 32p. illus.
$32.79 (9781683421788); e-book, $32.79 (9781683422440). 636.1.
Pygmy Goat. By Karen Latchana Kenney. 2017. 32p. illus. $32.79
(9781683421771); e-book, $32.79 (9781683422433). 636.3.
Skunk. By Ann Matzke. 2017. 32p. illus. $32.79 (9781683421795);
e-book, $32.79 (9781683422457). 599.76.
Young aspiring pet owners looking for something a little out of the
ordinary will find plenty of inspiration and realistic guidance in these
entries in the You Have a Pet What?! series. Bearded Dragon offers tips
on body language, care, and feeding of these friendly reptiles, which are
considered “one of the best lizard pets.” The adorable photos of fuzzy-nosed creatures in Miniature Donkey might catapult them to the top
of pet wish lists, but be prudent: these animals require companionship
and lots of room, and they can live for decades. Pygmy Goat emphasizes the playfulness of these pets as well as their extensive hygiene
and space requirements. A note about being a good neighbor—goats
are loud and smelly, after all—is particularly helpful. Although the
thought of a pet skunk might make many people turn up their noses,
Skunk debunks that notion by declaring, “This boldly striped animal
is curious, quick to learn, and tenderhearted.” A repeated exhortation
to follow local laws for skunk ownership—in some states, it’s illegal to
own one at all, and it’s never legal to capture a wild one—is especially
useful. Packed with practical, accessible information and lots of engaging photos, these titles might (rightly) dissuade some eager odd-animal
lovers, but readers will come away with plenty of knowledge about
each unique creature. —Sarah Hunter