A strong choice for any young reader interested in the natural world.



From the Wild World Handbook series , Vol. 1

A hands-on handbook that traverses nine habitats around the globe, sharing stories of nature protectors and encouraging new ones.

Well-designed and smartly organized, this handsome title demonstrates the wide range of ways the environment can be protected. Each chapter focuses on one habitat: mountains, forests, deserts, polar lands, ocean, freshwater, cities, rainforests, and grasslands. The structure of each chapter is simple to follow and is repeated consistently, including profiles of two individuals, a description of a natural wonder, creative ways to experience the habitat close to home, an environmental success story, a DIY project, and concrete steps readers can take to protect this habitat. With every turn of the page, stimulating stories, compelling facts, colorful pictures, and action items provide ideas for readers. The biographies and success stories are entertaining human-interest tales that read like short stories. The habitat protectors vary in age, gender, ability, nationality, and race—some, like Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, are modern while others, such as Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted, are historical. The suggested activities are interdisciplinary, providing inspiration that proves that all types of people can enjoy and protect nature. Orlando’s truly beautiful art, with its soft edges and natural tones, contributes to the inviting, welcoming reading experience.

A strong choice for any young reader interested in the natural world. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68369-246-1

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both.


Flash, Batman, and other characters from the DC Comics universe tackle supervillains and STEM-related topics and sometimes, both.

Credited to 20 writers and illustrators in various combinations, the 10 episodes invite readers to tag along as Mera and Aquaman visit oceanic zones from epipelagic to hadalpelagic; Supergirl helps a young scholar pick a science-project topic by taking her on a tour of the solar system; and Swamp Thing lends Poison Ivy a hand to describe how DNA works (later joining Swamp Kid to scuttle a climate-altering scheme by Arcane). In other episodes, various costumed creations explain the ins and outs of diverse large- and small-scale phenomena, including electricity, atomic structure, forensic techniques, 3-D printing, and the lactate threshold. Presumably on the supposition that the characters will be more familiar to readers than the science, the minilectures tend to start from simple basics, but the figures are mostly both redrawn to look more childlike than in the comics and identified only in passing. Drawing styles and page designs differ from chapter to chapter but not enough to interrupt overall visual unity and flow—and the cast is sufficiently diverse to include roles for superheroes (and villains) of color like Cyborg, Kid Flash, and the Latina Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. Appended lists of websites and science-based YouTube channels, plus instructions for homespun activities related to each episode, point inspired STEM-winders toward further discoveries.

Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both. (Graphic nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77950-382-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)



Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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