From the Scientists in the Field series

Another inviting example of scientific field work in a consistently appealing series.

In Asheville, North Carolina, wildlife biologists study a growing black bear population, one example of city-dwellers and animals who try to coexist around the world.

Around and within Asheville, black bears are proliferating. Four specialists, led by Colleen Olfenbuttel, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s black bear and furbearer biologist and a professor at N.C. State University, conduct field investigations that include capturing, tagging, and following bears fitted with radio collars. Cherrix writes with affection about her hometown, offering readers an immediate account of bear captures and the scientists’ work. Accompanied by local wildlife photographer Steve Atkins (who contributes many of the book’s full-color photos), she joins the scientists (who all present white) for two bear encounters. Photos show the splendid Blue Mountains scenery, bear habitat in suburban backyards, and the bears themselves, including an irresistible cub less than 2 months old. Readers see scientists in action as well as schoolchildren having a rare opportunity to see and touch a bear, temporarily sedated for a physical exam. The writer weaves in information about black bear life, the history of human-bear relationships in the area, habitat changes, and even tips for bear encounters. A middle chapter describes other examples of urban human/wildlife cohabitation: leopards in Mumbai, India; eastern coyotes across the United States; feral chickens in Hawaii; turkeys in Boston; starlings throughout North America; wild boars in Berlin; and the threat of capybaras in Florida.

Another inviting example of scientific field work in a consistently appealing series. (glossary, notes, bibliography, acknowledgements, index) (Nonfiction.10-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-85868-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018


Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge.

With an amped-up sense of wonder, the Science Guy surveys the natural universe.

Starting from first principles like the scientific method, Nye and his co-author marvel at the “Amazing Machine” that is the human body then go on to talk up animals, plants, evolution, physics and chemistry, the quantum realm, geophysics, and climate change. They next venture out into the solar system and beyond. Along with tallying select aspects and discoveries in each chapter, the authors gather up “Massively Important” central concepts, send shoutouts to underrecognized women scientists like oceanographer Marie Tharp, and slip in directions for homespun experiments and demonstrations. They also challenge readers to ponder still-unsolved scientific posers and intersperse rousing quotes from working scientists about how exciting and wide open their respective fields are. If a few of those fields, like the fungal kingdom, get short shrift (one spare paragraph notwithstanding), readers are urged often enough to go look things up for themselves to kindle a compensatory habit. Aside from posed photos of Nye and a few more of children (mostly presenting as White) doing science-y things, the full-color graphic and photographic images not only reflect the overall “get this!” tone but consistently enrich the flow of facts and reflections. “Our universe is a strange and surprising place,” Nye writes. “Stay curious.” Words to live by.

Wordplay and wry wit put extra fun into a trove of fundamental knowledge. (contributors, art credits, selected bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4676-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020


From the Giants of Science series

Hot on the heels of the well-received Leonardo da Vinci (2005) comes another agreeably chatty entry in the Giants of Science series. Here the pioneering physicist is revealed as undeniably brilliant, but also cantankerous, mean-spirited, paranoid and possibly depressive. Newton’s youth and annus mirabilis receive respectful treatment, the solitude enforced by family estrangement and then the plague seen as critical to the development of his thoughtful, methodical approach. His subsequent squabbles with the rest of the scientific community—he refrained from publishing one treatise until his rival was dead—further support the image of Newton as a scientific lone wolf. Krull’s colloquial treatment sketches Newton’s advances in clearly understandable terms without bogging the text down with detailed explanations. A final chapter on “His Impact” places him squarely in the pantheon of great thinkers, arguing that both his insistence on the scientific method and his theories of physics have informed all subsequent scientific thought. A bibliography, web site and index round out the volume; the lack of detail on the use of sources is regrettable in an otherwise solid offering for middle-grade students. (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-05921-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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