Creature ABC

Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman

See the cracks in the toenails of an elephant.  Marvel at the scarlet of a rooster’s head.  Sink into the fur of a wolf.  From A to Z, Andew Zuckerman has created photographs that are so detailed, so close and so astounding that you will find yourself bumping your head on the page as you lean in to get a better look.  The photographs are so well done that you can see the texture of skin, count individual hairs, and realize the difference between different types of fur. 

This is an ABC book, but for me that is little more than an order to put the photographs in.  Readers much older than the ABC crowd will be fascinated by the images.  Children who love animals will adore this book.  Expect to see many smudges as fingers big and small try to feel the fur or pet the animals through the page. 

One of the problems for libraries will be where to shelve this.  Yes, it is an alphabet book, but it just might be better loved in the animal nonfiction section.  Either way, this is a great purchase for libraries and one that children will read again and again.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.

Also reviewed by Pink Me, A Year of Reading, and Fuse #8.

Apples and Pumpkins

Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum

Celebrate the fall season with this pair of book from National Geographic Kids.  Both book have simple text just right for beginning readers combined with vivid photographs.  In Apples, readers follow apples from blossom to harvest to different uses.  Mouths will be watering at the caramel apples, applesauce and cider.  In Pumpkin, readers get to see the pumpkins grow on the vine, turn orange, and be made into pies, jack-o-lanterns, and even boats.  Yes, boats.  The photographs feature children of different ethnicities, which is wonderful to see in nonfiction titles.

Esbaum’s photographs steal the show here with their crisp focus, bright colors and interesting compositions.  But her text is not to be ignored.  Her words add context and detailed information that make the photographs even more interesting.

Perfect to expand your fall seasonal shelves, these books come paperback bound so buy a bushel.

Reviewed from copies received from publisher.

Also reviewed by The Well-Read Child.

Book Bloggers Under Scrutiny

The book blogging world is abuzz with the news of the FTC’s new Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials which will be revised to address bloggers.

In a fascinating, but confusing, article, Edward Champion interviews Richard Cleland of the FTC about the changes. 

Bloggers, including myself, have a lot of concerns about these changes.  First, the fact that the rules for bloggers are going to be more stringent than those for review journals in print is very troubling.  I don’t mind disclosing the book I receive from publishers, but it seems to me that Cleland wants disclosure plus return of the books. 

There is no way that I would have enough funds to return the books I receive from publishers.  That said, I don’t keep the books I receive from publishers.  The books that I receive go to my library’s collection unless they are ARCs.  ARCs are shared with colleagues, given away as book program prizes, or put into the library book sale.

For me as a library blogger, it gets even more confusing.  Cleland says that if bloggers are being paid to blog then there is no need for concern.  I blog on library time and for the library’s website.   Does that clear me of concern?  I don’t think so. 

I am entirely confused, a bit concerned, and hoping for more clarifications to come.  How about you?  I’m happy if anyone can shed more light on this for me!