An accessible and appealing invitation to connect with the world of birds.


From the Orca Wild series

What are birds, why are they important, why are they in trouble, and what can we do to help them?

Biologist Eriksson, who explored our connections to the ocean in Dive In (2018), here turns to another of her passions, birding. In six nicely organized chapters, she provides both an overview and a close-up look at ways to get involved in learning about birds and supporting them. “Amazing Avians” offers a clear definition of the avian order, even showing its evolutionary connection to dinosaurs. “Winged Wonders” presents some significant bird phenomena such as migration, the dawn chorus, and tool use. “Zooming in on Wild Birds” talks about bird feeding, bird-watching, and citizen science. “Why Wild Birds Matter” explains the importance of birds to the environment as well as to humans. “Beating the Big Bad Three” describes the major reasons bird numbers have declined: habitat loss, invasive species, and climate change. Finally, she invites her readers to help in “Giving Wild Birds a Boost” and reports on group efforts internationally toward “Keeping Wild Birds in Flight.” There are plentiful photographs of both birds and birders of many ages, nationalities, and races; sidebars and small features offering additional information; and full pages devoted to introducing some young birders. With the recent announcement that billions of birds have disappeared from North American skies in the past 50 years, this is a particularly timely title.

An accessible and appealing invitation to connect with the world of birds. (glossary, resource, index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2153-8

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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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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A splendid volume for young adventurers.



Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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