Friday, October 16, 2020

The Popper Penguin Rescue and Descent

Schrefer, Eliot. The Popper Penguin Rescue
October 13th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Nina and Joe Popper move with their mother back near the family's home of Stillwater, where in the 1930s, former housepainter Mr. Popper got a number of penguins from Admiral Drake and trained them to perform. The town across the river, Hillport, had tried to capitalize on the penguin craze with all sorts of tourist activities, but has fallen on hard times. Their mother has purchased the foreclosed Penguin Pavilion to live in, and it needs a lot of work. While cleaning and painting, the children find two penguin eggs in the basement, and hope that they will hatch. When they do, they know they need help in caring for the chicks, whom they name Mae, for Mae Jemison, and Ernest, for Ernest Shackleford. They contact the Popper Foundation for help, and are glad when they are given the contact information for Yuka, who runs the station near Popper Island in the Arctic. It's even more exciting when they are sent there with their mother to deliver the penguins! Things aren't going too well at the station, with various problems, but the more pressing problem is that the descendants of the Popper penguins seem to be causing the local puffin population problems. Will Nina and Joe be able to be environmentally responsible and manage to get the Popper penguins to the Antarctic where they belong?
Strengths: This is a short, fast paced book with illustrations (that I didn't get to see in the E ARC), and that cover will make any young reader interested in penguins beg to read it. I appreciated that there was a bit of disbelief-- Stillwater and Hillport still have some penguin culture, there are eggs that hatch with fortuitous timing, and the Foundation is willing and financially able to help with an amazing trip. There are some children's books that are so enduring that having an updated version, like Martin's Missy Piggle-Wiggle and the Whatever Cure, can increase readership of the original. Schrefer clearly has some love for this title, and does a great job in mentioning key points for Atwater's work and having fun with the premise.
Weaknesses: As an adult, I had a hard time believing that there would be viable penguin eggs just left behind in the basement.
What I really think: This was really charming, but I may pass for my library. The original Atwater title only circulates for our decades project, but elementary students enjoy animal stories a lot more and would be thrilled with this one.

Alexander, Kate. Generation Brave: The Gen Z Kids Who Are Changing the World 
September 22nd 2020 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy provided by the publisher

I tend to buy biographies only after the people are deceased, so I'm giving this to a teacher who does a unit on activism. Very complete information, but I always wonder what will happen to these subjects in twenty years. Timely, definitely, but sometimes that is exactly the problem for long term collection development. 

I'm not sure that publishers need to seek permission to include people in the public eye in a corporate biography, but one of the people in the book was not happy to be included. 

Satvik Sethi
 · Dec 19
Never thought I’d have to write this, but @AndrewsMcMeel & Hollan Publishing have published a book titled ‘Generation Brave’ that features stories about me and several youth activists without our consent and permissions. We were never informed of this book ever being written.
An illustrated celebration of Gen Z activists fighting to make our world a better place.

Gen Z is populated—and defined—by activists. They are bold and original thinkers and not afraid to stand up to authority and conventional wisdom. From the March for Our Lives to the fight for human rights and climate change awareness, this generation is leading the way toward truth and hope like no generation before.

Generation Brave showcases Gen Z activists who are fighting for change on many fronts: climate change, LGBTQ rights, awareness and treatment of mental illness, gun control, gender equality, and corruption in business and government at the highest levels. Illustrated throughout, this book will offer a celebration of what might be the most influential generation of the century, including profiles of figures such as:

Simone Biles
Jaden Smith
Jazz Jennings
Haile Thomas
Yara Shahidi
Nadya Okamoto
Marley Dias
Helena Gualinga
Fionn Ferreira
. . . and other amazing kids who are using their voices for good.

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