98 Booklist September 1, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
tion of “everything scary under the sun—and
the full moon.” In convenient alphabetical
order, topics range from arachnids and flesh-eating plants to eerie locales, like the Island
of the Dolls near Mexico City, to zombies
in folklore, film, and nature—the last with
guidelines for applying zombie makeup appended. Winterbottom doesn’t just offer a
mix of anthropology, natural history, and
legend but also stirs in short “jump” and
ghost stories, as well as pranks (notably the
ever-effective “Spider in Toilet”) and craft
projects for such standards as fake blood
and brains. In the spirit of fair play, many
of the animal profiles include a “Reasons to
Love” side feature that adds a positive spin.
Tambellini adds drawings of ghosts and
monsters (not seen in finished form) to the
array of photos that accompany most entries.
A prime source of thrills and chills, equally
suitable for casual browsing or quick reference. —John Peters
The Great Leopard Rescue: Saving the
By Sandra Markle.
Oct. 2016. 48p. illus. Lerner/Millbrook, lib. ed., $30.65
(9781467792479). 599.75. Gr. 4–6.
Similar in approach to Markle’s The Great
Monkey Rescue (2015), this handsome volume
looks at efforts to rescue the Amur leopard.
Called “the rarest big cats on Earth,” these
leopards live in the Asian taiga, west of Vladivostok. Their numbers have dwindled from
around 2,400 in the wild during the 1950s
to about 30 in 2007 and 50 today, because
of disease, poaching, and significant loss of
habitat when land was cleared for farming,
logging, and mining. The discussion includes
several practical, international efforts during
the past 16 years to protect the Amur leopard,
as well as an innovative plan for the future.
Based on interviews with zoologists working in this field, the well-organized, cogently
written text is enhanced by the many excellent
photos, from shots of drones and firefighters
protecting Russia’s Land of the Leopard National Park (created in 2012) to close-ups of
a leopard hunting and two cubs at play. An
informative presentation showing what is being done to save this beautiful but critically
endangered species. —Carolyn Phelan
Growing Peace: A Story of Farming,
Music, and Religious Harmony.
By Richard Sobol.
Sept. 2016. 40p. illus. Lee & Low, $18.95
(9781600604508). 334. Gr. 4–7.
Sobol’s account of the Peace Kawomera
Growers co-op in Uganda is an uplifting story
of community and religious harmony that is
all the more inspiring when considered against
the country’s history of civil unrest. Tracing
the co-op’s roots, he introduces its founder,
J. J. Keki, who is a coffee grower, musician, and
religious leader in his eastern Ugandan village
of Namanyonyi. After personally witnessing
the 9/11 attacks, Keki resolved that it wasn’t
enough for the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim
communities of Namanyonyi to simply coex-
ist; they must actively support one another.
Thus he proposed the coffee growers co-op
and worked tirelessly to convince farmers of
all faiths to join. In just 11 years, it has grown
from 205 members to more than 1,000. Well-
chosen color photographs show Keki in his
village, families harvesting and processing cof-
fee, and smiling children, both in their places
of worship and playing together. Sobol takes
care to supply readers with necessary histori-
cal and religious context (documented in back
matter) without burying the story’s heartening
message of peace. —Julia Smith
Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who
Invented the Wild West.
By Candace Fleming.
Sept. 2016. 288p. illus. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, $19.99
(9781596437630). 978. Gr. 5–9.
Fleming’s (The Family Romanov, 2014) insightful biography of William “Buffalo Bill”
Cody isn’t just about the making of this legendary persona but also the myth of the Wild
West. Having gained his nickname while
working as a buffalo hunter, Cody continued
to earn fame as a U.S. Army scout during the
American Indian wars. When a dime novelist
began spinning fictitious stories about Buffalo
Bill, his character was established as a western action hero. To cash in on his reputation,
Cody created his Wild West show, solidifying
his stardom and shaping the Wild West narrative, including its quest for expansion and
stereotyped “Cowboys vs. Indians” mythos.
Fleming teases facts from the legends surrounding Cody, conceding that sometimes the
truth lies somewhere in between, and presents
chapters filled with period photographs as acts
in the showman’s life. Considerable coverage is
given to the unjust treatment of Native Americans at this time; and an author’s note addresses
Fleming’s mindful use of terminologies (many
still problematic) when writing about Native
American people. An illuminating look at an
American legend. —Angela Leeper
The School the Aztec Eagles Built: A
Tribute to Mexico’s World War II Air
By Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson.
Sept. 2016. 40p. illus. Lee & Low, $18.95
(9781600604409). 940.54. Gr. 3–6.
During WWII, Mexico supported the
Allies, contributing a group of top fighter
pilots and their support crew to the cause.
Known as the Aztec Eagles, this squadron
trained in the U.S. and was deployed to the
Philippines, where they flew missions during
the war’s final days. Nicholson recounts the
group’s history, placing special emphasis on
Sergeant Ángel Bocanegra, a crew member
and former teacher who convinced Mexico’s
President Camacho to build a school in his
village as thanks for the group’s service. The
text reads smoothly, providing sufficient
background for the intended audience, and
includes many interesting details (the bracero
program, for example, encouraged Mexicans
to enter the U.S. for work during the war).
Numerous well-chosen period photos add
clarity to the narrative and help to break up
the text. Generous back matter (including a
list of sources, many of them primary) is also
included. This tribute to Mexico’s war ef-
forts complements other narratives of groups
and individual aviators who aided the cause.
Sea Otter Rescue.
By Suzi Eszterhas.
Sept. 2016. 44p. illus. Owlkids, $17.95
(9781771471756). 639.9. Gr. 3–5.
Wildlife photographer Eszterhas (
Orang-utan Orphanage, 2016) continues her
attractive Wildlife Rescue series with this irresistible third installment. This time, her
focus is on the sea otters rehabilitated at the
Alaska SeaLife Center on Resurrection Bay. In
double-page spreads complemented by glossy
(and adorable) photographs, she explains
clearly and succinctly the lives of otters in
the wild, their biological functions, and how
a pup might come to be lost or orphaned.
By following the growth and development
of one particular rescued pup, Mishka, Eszterhas provides a clear look into the process
by which a pup is rehabilitated, raised, and
looked after by humans, and explains the
options the pups have when they’re ready to
leave the shelter. A section on conservation
and how kids can help at the grassroots level
brings the message a little closer to home, especially for those readers who don’t live near
rescue centers but still want to help, as does
a section where Eszterhas answers questions
from kids. A valuable addition to STEM collections. —Maggie Reagan
Somos como las nubes / We Are
like the Clouds.
By Jorge Argueta. Illus. by Alfonso
Ruano. Tr. by Elisa Amado.
Oct. 2016. 36p. Groundwood, $18.95 (9781554988495).
811. Gr. 5–9.
Unaccompanied minors from Central Amer-
ica have been making the dangerous trek to
the U.S. in search of
their family and a safer
life, and this collection
of bilingual poems
centers around the
experiences of these
and older readers alike
will be able to connect
to Argueta’s carefully crafted first-person
stories of immigration. In the same man-
ner, Ruano gives a beautiful brown face to
the children forced to flee violence in their
home country, through his acrylic paint-
ings, which range from the surreal to the
ONLINE ALERT! Looking for our review
of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed
Child, Parts I and II You’ll find Julia
Smith’s starred review on Booklist Online.