THE BIG RIVERS

THE MISSOURI, THE MISSISSIPPI, AND THE OHIO

In 1993, the big rivers of the subtitle flooded huge areas of the Midwest. While small floods are an annual occurrence, ``a few times each century,'' flooding is extensive. Hiscock (The Big Storm, 1993, etc.) traveled the rivers at the height of the flooding in 1993, taking photographs, making sketches, and helping fill sandbags to keep the water back. He reports in an afterword, ``Being there is quite different from watching the flood on TV. . . . The power of the river is so apparent that when a levee fails it is accepted with a kind of quiet reverence.'' This reverence is reflected in the soft watercolor paintings of rising waters and flooded homes and fields—even in sketches of people cleaning up the mess afterward. The tone is calm and the prose is lyrical, but also informative, making brief reference to the problem of river management. This title is visually appealing and presents a surprisingly serene perspective; it might be paired with more critical accounts— e.g., Patricia Lauber's Flood (1996)—that focus more on the underlying causes of the flooding. (map, diagrams) (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: June 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-689-80871-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1997

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

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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