FEEL THE FOG

From the Weather Walks series

Full-color photographs pair with sparse but poetic text to describe the fog and offer the basic science behind it.

Words set in a spindly typeface called QuickRest appear in different ink colors, contrasting well at all times against full-bleed art. The initial double-spread page says, “Fog rolls in, damp and pale.” That is followed by two coordinated photographs on the next spread: “A cloud, ground level, / hugs stone / and snail.” The text is simple, accessible, and graceful throughout, always with a pleasant rhythm and sometimes rhyming. There is gentle humor, as in an apt reference to the kind of bone-chilling fog that appears to be affecting a hunched-over water bird: “Dewy. Cold stewy.” About halfway in, the text—still maintaining its cadence—switches from sensory descriptions of fog’s presence to elementary explanations of how warm, moist air cools to create fog, presenting examples of environments where that often occurs. The final pages contain a bit more science and plenty more lyricism. The text is complemented artfully with stunning, full-bleed photographs from several states in the U.S. as well as the countries of Greenland and Panama. An abundance of natural beauty is seen in every spread: from spider webs to deer; from tide pools to icebergs. Aside from one small shot of birds on a wire, there are no images of people or human-made objects. The effect—whether read silently or aloud—is mesmerizing and reverent. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

Alluring. (further facts) (Informational picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3760-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this.

ABCS OF ART

From “Apple” to “Zebra,” an alphabet of images drawn from museum paintings.

In an exhibition that recalls similar, if less parochial, ABCs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (My First ABC, 2009) and several other institutions, Hahn presents a Eurocentric selection of paintings or details to illustrate for each letter a common item or animal—all printed with reasonable clarity and captioned with identifying names, titles, and dates. She then proceeds to saddle each with an inane question (“What sounds do you think this cat is making?” “Where can you find ice?”) and a clumsily written couplet that unnecessarily repeats the artist’s name: “Flowers are plants that blossom and bloom. / Frédéric Bazille painted them filling up this room!” She also sometimes contradicts the visuals, claiming that the horses in a Franz Marc painting entitled “Two Horses, 1912” are ponies, apparently to populate the P page. Moreover, her “X” is an actual X-ray of a Jean-Honoré Fragonard, showing that the artist repainted his subject’s face…interesting but not quite in keeping with the familiar subjects chosen for the other letters.

Caregivers eager to expose their children to fine art have better choices than this. (Informational picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5107-4938-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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