Robin Page and Steve Jenkins breathe new life into the favorite game of small animal lovers everywhere. “I have… nine black spots, two delicate wings, six wiggly legs, two beady eyes, and a flower for a home. Who Am I?” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $14.99). One by one, the animals, illustrated in bold, ripped-paper collage, present clues to lead the reader to the answer. Some of these animals (like the ladybug!) will be familiar, but others (ghost crab, spider monkey) will be more challenging to identify. Even the adults turning the pages may learn something from this visit to the animal kingdom. Ages 5-8.
There is no need for “a spoonful of sugar” to entice the whole family to read Dr. Howard Bennett’s latest book. The Fantastic Body: What Makes You Tick & How You Get Sick (Rodale, $19.99) is a handy and engaging reference guide to all the body’s organs and systems. Well-designed diagrams and features like tips for the next check-up provide essential information in a clear and comprehensible format; fun facts, DIY project instructions, and, yes, gross stories promise to keep young readers’ interest piqued with each turn of the page. Bennett brings 30 years of experience as a pediatrician and the lucid writing we have come to expect from his popular columns in The Washington Post to this masterful guide. Ages 6-12.
Who better than a groundhog to narrate Older Than Dirt: A Wild but True History of Earth (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18.99)? Not only does she know her dirt, but she also impresses her curious earthworm neighbor with her extensive knowledge of all aspects of geology. She recounts the how Earth was created in the Big Bang and how it has evolved over billions of years, right up through the climate change crisis we face today. Don Brown and Dr. Mike Perfit’s graphic novel presents eons of information in an entertaining and digestible format, with discussions of natural disasters from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE to the 2004 tsunami that will both keep readers hooked and highlight how important this science lesson really is. Ages 7-10.