Book review: Hello, My Name Is…: How Adorabilis Got His Name, by Marisa Polansky, pictures by Joey Chou

Polansky, Marisa. Hello, My Name Is…: How Adorabilis Got His Name. Pictures by Joey Chou. Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2018. $17.99. ISBN 9780374305062. Unp. Ages 3-7. P7 Q8

In Hello, My Name Is… we follow a cute pink creature as it searches for its name. Along the way, we meet several sea creatures and learn their common names and why they have them. After exploring the pink creature’s many attributes, we learn that it is Adorabilis, a type of flapjack octopus discovered in 2015 by researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The animals and scenery in the book are depicted with prominent angles, bright colors, and plenty of contrast. A picture of the actual adorabilis, a brief description of taxonomy, and the history of Opisthoteuthis adorabilis’ discovery and naming are included after the story.

Verdict: This is an informative story about how organisms’ names often reflect their physical attributes or behavior. It would be a great addition to a lesson on sea life; but make sure students realize that some of the creatures in the story live in vastly different environments and would never encounter each other in the wild.

October 2018 review by Lillian Curanzy.

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Book review: Hello, Mr. Dodo!, by Nicholas John Frith

Frith, Nicholas John. Hello, Mr. Dodo! Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2016. $17.99. ISBN 9781338089394. Unp. Ages 3-7. P 8 Q 7

Nicholas John Frith’s second picture book, Hello, Mr. Dodo!, continues the aesthetic of his first publication, Hector and Hummingbird. Both books have Frith’s mid-century appeal and distinct color palettes. In Dodo, we meet Martha, an experienced young birder, as she first encounters a previously extinct Dodo bird. Martha and Dodo are fast friends—bonding over their shared love of doughnuts. Unfortunately, Martha soon learns she must protect her friend from the reality of human nature that caused his kin to go extinct in the first place! Young readers will enjoy meeting Mr. Dodo. His doughnut-loving good nature sparks empathy as readers learn about how and why certain species may become extinct. These species may need our help to escape this fate.

Verdict: Animal lovers will relate to Martha’s interest in birding. Fans of an old-fashioned aesthetic will appreciate Frith’s style. Young readers will enjoy this book about the peculiar Dodo bird.

April 2017 review by Lillian Curanzy.