A solid ending to an excellent seasonal series.

READ REVIEW

SUPER SUMMER

ALL KINDS OF SUMMER FACTS AND FUN

Goldstone’s final installment in his seasonal celebrations (Wonderful Winter, 2016, etc.) serves up all things summer.

“Summer is a…season of plenty” is the centering theme, and readers may tire of the word “plenty” by the end. Fittingly, a large number of page spreads are devoted to the heat—the length of days, how to protect yourself from the sun and keep cool, the role of sweat, how animals adapt to the weather. Goldstone also highlights flowers, devoting one spread to sunflowers and their heliotropism and another to the power of blooms to attract pollinators. Summer insects get a couple of spreads—one about harmless ones (at least to people) and another to stingers. The book concludes with a variety of types of vacation destinations (an amusement park, the woods, etc.) and ways to enjoy the months “in the water, on land, and in the air,” a look at summer celebrations, and the looming start of school. Backmatter includes six activities to fill summer days. As in the previous volumes, the photos (some stock, some by Goldstone) are a particular highlight. Bright colors, up-close pictures, photos cropped in fun, summery shapes, and a diverse array of kids who don’t seem overly posed fill the pages.

A solid ending to an excellent seasonal series. (Nonfiction. 5-10)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-12015-1

Page Count: 50

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders.

THE BIG BOOK OF THE BLUE

Denizens of the deep crowd oversized pages in this populous gallery of ocean life.

The finny and tentacled sea creatures drifting or arrowing through Zommer’s teeming watercolor seascapes are generally recognizable, and they are livened rather than distorted by the artist’s tendency to place human eyes on the same side of many faces, Picasso-like. Headers such as “Ink-teresting” or “In for the krill” likewise add a playful tone to the pithy comments on anatomical features or behavioral quirks that accompany the figures (which include, though rarely, a white human diver). The topical spreads begin with an overview of ocean families (“Some are hairy, some have scales, some have fins and some are boneless and brainless!”), go on to introduce select animals in no particular order from sea horses and dragonets to penguins and pufferfish, then close with cautionary remarks on chemical pollution and floating plastic. The author invites readers as they go to find both answers to such questions as “Why does a crab run sideways?” and also a small sardine hidden in some, but not all, of the pictures. For the latter he provides a visual key at the end, followed by a basic glossary.

A refreshing dive past some of our world’s marine wonders. (index) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-500-65119-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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Science at its best: informative and gross.

DO NOT LICK THIS BOOK

Why not? Because “IT’S FULL OF GERMS.”

Of course, Ben-Barak rightly notes, so is everything else—from your socks to the top of Mount Everest. Just to demonstrate, he invites readers to undertake an exploratory adventure (only partly imaginary): First touch a certain seemingly blank spot on the page to pick up a microbe named Min, then in turn touch teeth, shirt, and navel to pick up Rae, Dennis, and Jake. In the process, readers watch crews of other microbes digging cavities (“Hey kid, brush your teeth less”), spreading “lovely filth,” and chowing down on huge rafts of dead skin. For the illustrations, Frost places dialogue balloons and small googly-eyed cartoon blobs of diverse shape and color onto Rundgren’s photographs, taken using a scanning electron microscope, of the fantastically rugged surfaces of seemingly smooth paper, a tooth, textile fibers, and the jumbled crevasses in a belly button. The tour concludes with more formal introductions and profiles for Min and the others: E. coli, Streptococcus, Aspergillus niger, and Corynebacteria. “Where will you take Min tomorrow?” the author asks teasingly. Maybe the nearest bar of soap.

Science at its best: informative and gross. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17536-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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