SNEEZE

With an opening likely to leave hypochondriacs in a state of blind panic, Siy and Kunkel return to introduce no fewer than nine children about to sneeze, each from a different cause, before going on to trace the reflex’s complex neuro-muscular pathways. Kunkel’s typically riveting micrographs zoom in on pollen grains, a single piece of ground pepper, a dust mite floating in a clout of skin flakes and fecal pellets, mildew, a clot of house dust, cat dander, viruses and other sneeze-inducers—all beautifully colorized (properly so noted) and carefully labeled. Capped with a gathering of extra facts, stills from Thomas Edison’s first moving picture (guess its title) and a list of resources, mostly from the web, this offering has it all—from explosive humor and drama to fascinating pictures, precise and clearly presented information, useful backmatter and a topic that touches on a universal experience. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-57091-653-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2007

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WEATHER

Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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ACCIDENTS MAY HAPPEN

FIFTY INVENTIONS DISCOVERED BY MISTAKE

In this entertaining companion volume to Mistakes that Worked (1994), Jones describes more of the often humorous incidents that resulted in inventions, products, and fashions. The telephone and photography are discussed as well as cellophane, Bakelite, Masonite, and dynamite. Another chapter offers speculation as to the origins of yeast, raisins, coffee, and vinegar, without much in the way of documentation, and a part of a chapter is devoted to the meanings of some nursery rhymes (it's never clear what they have to do with inventions). Nevertheless, this is entertaining reading, with whimsical black-and-white drawings, places to write for more information, a brief bibliography, and an index. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: June 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-385-32162-7

Page Count: 86

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1996

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