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An engaging, fun, and deep guide to how sea research happens.

The rarely seen giant squid is pursued by a research crew in a choose-your-own-adventure–style science book.

An ocean expedition sounds fun and exciting, but it takes a lot of work and a lot of people to pull it off. A large group of scientists and crew, all of whom appear to be people of color, sets out to learn more about giant squids. The book first introduces the array of workers on a research vessel, then later allows readers to select a pilot, a submersible, and a site to explore, among other options. Some dead ends lead back to earlier in the adventure. Those who make it to the end are rewarded by seeing the squid in its natural habitat. Along the way, the author, a Kirkus reviewer, informs readers about the largest squid ever (43 feet long) and the difference between a submarine and a human-occupied submersible; excitingly, readers are also told that “the giant squid’s natural habitat is the twilight zone. If you tried to swim there, your body would get squished by water pressure.” The friendly and fun exploration never gets too far into the science or the tools that it loses sight of the human faces driving the work with their preparation and skills.

An engaging, fun, and deep guide to how sea research happens. (note from the author and illustrator, special thanks to, animals in this book (common and scientific names), glossary, further reading and websites, bibliography, random facts) (Nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-79721-393-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

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An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe.

An introduction to gravity.

The book opens with the most iconic demonstration of gravity, an apple falling. Throughout, Herz tackles both huge concepts—how gravity compresses atoms to form stars and how black holes pull all kinds of matter toward them—and more concrete ones: how gravity allows you to jump up and then come back down to the ground. Gravity narrates in spare yet lyrical verse, explaining how it creates planets and compresses atoms and comparing itself to a hug. “My embrace is tight enough that you don’t float like a balloon, but loose enough that you can run and leap and play.” Gravity personifies itself at times: “I am stubborn—the bigger things are, the harder I pull.” Beautiful illustrations depict swirling planets and black holes alongside racially diverse children playing, running, and jumping, all thanks to gravity. Thorough backmatter discusses how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity and explains Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. While at times Herz’s explanations may be a bit too technical for some readers, burgeoning scientists will be drawn in.

An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 15, 2024

ISBN: 9781668936849

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

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From the Over and Under series

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature.

In a new entry in the Over and Under series, a paddleboarder glimpses humpback whales leaping, floats over a populous kelp forest, and explores life on a beach and in a tide pool.

In this tale inspired by Messner’s experiences in Monterey Bay in California, a young tan-skinned narrator, along with their light-skinned mom and tan-skinned dad, observes in quiet, lyrical language sights and sounds above and below the sea’s serene surface. Switching perspectives and angles of view and often leaving the family’s red paddleboards just tiny dots bobbing on distant swells, Neal’s broad seascapes depict in precise detail bat stars and anchovies, kelp bass, and sea otters going about their business amid rocky formations and the swaying fronds of kelp…and, further out, graceful moon jellies and—thrillingly—massive whales in open waters beneath gliding pelicans and other shorebirds. After returning to the beach at day’s end to search for shells and to spot anemones and decorator crabs, the child ends with nighttime dreams of stars in the sky meeting stars in the sea. Appended nature notes on kelp and 21 other types of sealife fill in details about patterns and relationships in this rich ecosystem. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-79720-347-8

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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