A classic case study of crowd-sourced science in action.

THE MYSTERY OF THE MONARCHS

HOW KIDS, TEACHERS, AND BUTTERFLY FANS HELPED FRED AND NORAH URQUHART TRACK THE GREAT MONARCH MIGRATION

How the mysterious migration patterns of monarch butterflies were mapped from Canada to Mexico by scientists and volunteers.

“By the time he was eight, Fred Urquhart was a bug man.” Though Urquhart’s work has been well documented for young audiences, most recently in Meeg Pincus’ Winged Wonders (2020, illustrated by Yas Imamura), this brisk and lively account of his decadeslong search focuses on the role played by thousands of “amateur scientists,” particularly schoolchildren, of three countries in finally tracking the butterflies to their winter quarters in mountains west of Mexico City. Rosenstock fills in details about the monarch’s life cycle over several appendixes, noting both the worrisome fact that migratory populations have declined in numbers some 80% over the past 20 years and that we still don’t know just how the insects find their way over such a distance. Along with butterfly-strewn representations of Urquhart and his wife, Norah, both White, and groups of volunteers that are diverse in both race and age, Meza, who was born in Michoacán, Mexico, where the monarchs have special significance, especially to the Purépecha and Mazahua people, adds an afterword in which she describes visiting Michoacán and meeting the community that is collectively caring for butterflies through sanctuaries. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A classic case study of crowd-sourced science in action. (map, source list) (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-984829-56-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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A pivotal moment in a child’s life, at once stirring and authentically personal.

JUST LIKE JESSE OWENS

Before growing up to become a major figure in the civil rights movement, a boy finds a role model.

Buffing up a childhood tale told by her renowned father, Young Shelton describes how young Andrew saw scary men marching in his New Orleans neighborhood (“It sounded like they were yelling ‘Hi, Hitler!’ ”). In response to his questions, his father took him to see a newsreel of Jesse Owens (“a runner who looked like me”) triumphing in the 1936 Olympics. “Racism is a sickness,” his father tells him. “We’ve got to help folks like that.” How? “Well, you can start by just being the best person you can be,” his father replies. “It’s what you do that counts.” In James’ hazy chalk pastels, Andrew joins racially diverse playmates (including a White child with an Irish accent proudly displaying the nickel he got from his aunt as a bribe to stop playing with “those Colored boys”) in tag and other games, playing catch with his dad, sitting in the midst of a cheering crowd in the local theater’s segregated balcony, and finally visualizing himself pelting down a track alongside his new hero—“head up, back straight, eyes focused,” as a thematically repeated line has it, on the finish line. An afterword by Young Shelton explains that she retold this story, told to her many times growing up, drawing from conversations with Young and from her own research; family photos are also included. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A pivotal moment in a child’s life, at once stirring and authentically personal. (illustrator’s note) (Autobiographical picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-545-55465-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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Chicken sexer? Breath odor evaluator? Cryptozoologist? Island caretaker? The choices dazzle! (Informational picture book....

INCREDIBLE JOBS YOU'VE (PROBABLY) NEVER HEARD OF

From funeral clown to cheese sculptor, a tally of atypical trades.

This free-wheeling survey, framed as a visit to “The Great Hall of Jobs,” is designed to shake readers loose from simplistic notions of the world of work. Labarre opens with a generic sculpture gallery of, as she puts it, “The Classics”—doctor, dancer, farmer, athlete, chef, and the like—but quickly moves on, arranging busy cartoon figures by the dozen in kaleidoscopic arrays, with pithy captions describing each occupation. As changes of pace she also tucks in occasional challenges to match select workers (Las Vegas wedding minister, “ethical” hacker, motion-capture actor) with their distinctive tools or outfits. The actual chances of becoming, say, the queen’s warden of the swans or a professional mattress jumper, not to mention the nitty-gritty of physical or academic qualifications, income levels, and career paths, are left largely unspecified…but along with noting that new jobs are being invented all the time (as, in the illustration, museum workers wheel in a “vlogger” statue), the author closes with the perennial insight that it’s essential to love what you do and the millennial one that there’s nothing wrong with repeatedly switching horses midstream. The many adult figures and the gaggle of children (one in a wheelchair) visiting the “Hall” are diverse of feature, sex, and skin color.

Chicken sexer? Breath odor evaluator? Cryptozoologist? Island caretaker? The choices dazzle! (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1219-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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