A long, long way from comprehensive—but still fodder for serious thought and discussion.

READ REVIEW

EVERY SECOND

100 LIGHTNING STRIKES, 8,000 SCOOPS OF ICE CREAM, 200,000 TEXT MESSAGES, 1 MILLION GALLONS OF COW BURPS…AND OTHER INCREDIBLE THINGS THAT HAPPEN EACH SECOND AROUND THE WORLD

What goes on around the world in every tick of the clock?

In this graphically stylish exploration of what might happen in a second, Gibert goes for hard numbers rather than the dreamy imaginings of horizon expanders such as Kathleen Rice Bowers’ At This Very Minute, illustrated by Linda Shute (1983), or Isabel Minhós Martins’ The World in a Second, illustrated by Bernardo P. Carvalho and translated by Lyn Miller-Lachman (2015). The author pores over nearly three dozen recently published official statistical reports (all listed in the backmatter) and does some math. He offers a few small figures for each elapsed second (one wedding, two serious car accidents, four new babies) but many more big ones: 100 lightning bolts; 3,000,000 email messages; 47,000 gallons of oil extracted; and 1,050,000 gallons of cow gas emitted “from both ends.” Most telling are the juxtapositions: $860 invested in humanitarian aid opposite $57,700 in arms sales; 20,000 plastic bottles produced versus 1,600 recycled; 485 trees cut down but just 158 replanted. Where relevant, each number is presented in both English and metric measures (the latter parenthetically), and each is paired to a full-page or larger illustration done in a serigraphic style, mostly featuring relevant shapes or silhouettes. Human images are rare but diverse.

A long, long way from comprehensive—but still fodder for serious thought and discussion. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-912920-30-3

Page Count: 56

Publisher: What on Earth Books

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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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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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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