Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom by Heather Tekavec

Wanted Criminals of the Animal Kingdom by Heather Tekavec

Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom by Heather Tekavec, illustrated by Susan Batori (9781525300240)

Take a look at the thirteen most wanted creatures in the animal kingdom. Their crimes are all unique to them and their names indicate what they have done. There is Big Bad Mama, Bubbles, Queenie the Meanie, and the Backyard Burglar. Each animal has its own rap sheet, complete with what they are wanted for, their aliases, distinguishing features, life span, sightings, witnesses and even previous arrests and gang affiliations. The various crimes are things like faking their own death for a frog, assault for spitting llamas, and traffic violations for crabs who cross the road in a huge crowd.

Done with a broad sense of humor, the book also offers factual information within the laughter. The criminal activity part of their rap sheet offers a paragraph about the animal and its problematic behavior. Some of the animals may be familiar to children but others will be a delight to discover. The art works seamlessly with the text to create a full rap sheet with loose paperclips, file folders, photographs and much more.

Humor combines with science and police records to create a funny and dynamic animal picture book. Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Kids Can Press.

Hattie the Bad

Hattie the Bad by Jane Devlin, illustrations by Joe Berger

Hattie was a very good little girl until she realized how dull it was.  Then she became Hattie the Bad, doing naughty but very fun things.  The other children loved her, but their parents stopped letting them play with Hattie.  So Hattie decided to be good again, perfect even.  The parents started pushing their children to be more like Hattie, but then the children stopped playing with her because she was so perfect.  Hattie was so very good that she even got an award for being the Best-Behaved Child Ever!  When in front of the cameras and asked to speak, Hattie stopped being good for good.

This book is all about being true to yourself and not trying to be what others expect you to be.  Hattie strikes a nice balance at the end of the book, being quite naughty, with “just a teensy bit of good.”  Devlin’s writing is over the top, adding to the fun and zinging energy of the book.  Berger matches that with his great illustrations.  Though the cover has a limited orangey palette, the book uses a more full spectrum of color.  Nicely, the illustrations have a bit of seventies vibe in them.  Readers should have fun watching for the frogs to appear and reappear throughout the book as well as laughing in glee when Hattie turns back into herself.

A naughty girl, perhaps, but a very nice read.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial.

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