Tag Archives: Arbordale Publishing

Book Review: Tuktuk: Tundra Tale – by Robin Currie





Book: Tuktuk: Tundra Tale
Author: Robin Currie
Illustrator: Phyllis Saroff
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
Date: August 25, 2016
Genre: picture book; age 8-12, gr K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $17.95
My rating: educational entertaining story with life-like


Tuktuk: Tundra Tale by Robin Currie is educational in disguise, and children will love the accurate illustrations by Phyllis Saroff.

This story is set in the Arctic, “at the top of the world”, and on the first double spread we see an Inuit driver controlling his dog sled over the snow and ice. What we also see, that he does not, is one of his waterproof boots – a kamik – fall off the sled and land right beside a furry little animal named Tuktuk. Tuktuk is a collard lemming and he decides the kamik with its warm fur will be just right to help keep him warm as the colder weather of winter sets in. 

As Tuktuk is dragging the kamik the long way to his burrow, Putak the polar bear sees it and wants it. Tuktuk knows he can’t win against a polar bear so he comes up with a silly idea, convincing the bear the kamik is for his nose. The bear tries it on his nose but it makes him sneeze so ambles away without the boot. 

Using the rule of threes, Robin Currie brings two more animals who try to take the kamik from Tuktuk. Tuktuk has silly ideas for each of them and they leave without his find.

The rich, bold illustrations are amazing in Tuktuk: Tundra Tale. Each page is a feast for the eyes and adds great detail to the description in the story of the northern clime. “Polaris appeared in the expanding night sky …”  “The Northern Lights shone …”

In the back of the book is a section (that can be photocopied or printed from the website for educational use) called For Creative Minds, in which the reader will find very interesting information – Polar Seasons, Arctic Skies, Arctic Vocabulary, Life in the Cold: Animal Fun Facts – with illustrations from the book coinciding with the information. Beautifully done!

Tuktuk: Tundra Tale by Robin Currie is a book to treasure, both for its amusing adventure of a clever collard lemming and for the information revealed in its fabulous illustrations by Phyllis Saroff. Readers will discover more details with each read through.

You can find Tuktuk: Tundra Tale by Robin Currie on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂




Book Review: Bat Count: a Citizen Science Story – by Anna Forrester








Book: Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story
Author: Anna Forrester
Illustrator: Susan Detwiler
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
Date: February 10, 2017
Genre: science picture book; age 4-8; gr K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $14.95 or $23.98 (hardcover)
My rating: An interesting, informative story with fabulous illustrations

Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story, written by Anna Forrester, is a wonderfully told story about bats that a family discovers in the barn and the risk to the survival of bats.

First of all, this hardcover book is illustrated in bold colours by Susan Detwiler and the font used is large and sharp – black on light pages, white on dark pages. I like that the family is not Caucasian and that the images are realistic and believable.

The story is told in the voice and from the perspective of the young daughter of the family. Jojo, her mom, dad, and three-year-old twin brothers, live in a large country house that has a big barn.

Before the twins were born, Jojo and her mom would go out to the barn to check on the bats hanging from the rafters. It seemed that they were using the barn as a maternity roost. Jojo’s mom would sweep up the bats droppings once a week and put them on her garden, but over the years things changed drastically and there wasn’t enough to sweep up.

Fact: Bats overwinter in caves and mine shafts, and there is a disease called white-nose syndrome that is killing them off. Bats come out at night to feed on insects, so bat scientists ask people to report to them when and where they see bats and how many. In Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story it became a family ritual for Jojo’s family. They were sad that each year there were fewer bats in their barn so fewer to count at sundown.

One day Jojo and her mom discover only one bat hanging from a rafter. They wait and hope that the bat will safely have a baby and so begin the increase of their population. What they find as the family lies on the grass one night, waiting and hoping to count the bat and her baby when they fly out to feed, is for you to find out as you read this wonderful book. 

Personally, I like little brown bats. Unfortunately, their population here in Nova Scotia has been greatly affected by white-nose syndrome. It’s disappointing to not hear them clicking and see them silently flying around at night catching mosquitoes and other pesky insects. Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story by Anna Forrester is an excellent way to introduce young readers to nature’s crisis of the plight of bats.

In the back of the book is a section For Creative Minds with Bat Facts, Bat Bodies information, White-Nose Syndrome facts and how to help bats, and Citizen Science for readers who want to help with bat counts.

You can find Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story by Anna Forrester on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments here for authors and illustrators are very much appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂