cover image The Rescuer of Tiny Creatures

The Rescuer of Tiny Creatures

Curtis Manley, illus. by Lucy Ruth Cummins. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-24671-4

Pale-skinned, red-haired Roberta is intent on rescuing small beings that are stranded or struggling—“Tiny creatures need friends who can rescue and understand them.” But her classmates don’t understand: “Ms. Williams! Roberta has been picking up worms again!” When their classroom wall is suddenly teeming with baby spiders, the other kids shrink away. But Roberta knows what to do, and with a classmate’s help, she organizes a spider rescue—and shows the class that spiders might actually be wondrous beings. Childlike images by Cummins (From Ed’s to Ned’s) use expressive, charcoal-y lines and bright colors to present information clearly, including the insects Roberta’s interested in, how they behave (“The millipede... curled into a spiral when I picked it up”), and how it’s possible to take those it’s too late to save and look at them under the microscope. This substantive story by Manley (Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet) is both a STEM tale about insects and a lesson in staying true to oneself, as Roberta’s distinctive interest takes her from odd kid out to minor celebrity with a like-minded new friend. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management. (June) [/em]