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

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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Go adventuring with a better guide.

50 ADVENTURES IN THE 50 STATES

From the The 50 States series

Find something to do in every state in the U.S.A.!

This guide highlights a location of interest within each of the states, therefore excluding Washington, D.C., and the territories. Trivia about each location is scattered across crisply rendered landscapes that background each state’s double-page spread while diminutive, diverse characters populate the scenes. Befitting the title, one “adventure” is presented per state, such as shrimping in Louisiana’s bayous, snowshoeing in Connecticut, or celebrating the Fourth of July in Boston. While some are stereotypical gimmes (surfing in California), others have the virtue of novelty, at least for this audience, such as viewing the sandhill crane migration in Nebraska. Within this thematic unity, some details go astray, and readers may find themselves searching in vain for animals mentioned. The trivia is plentiful but may be misleading, vague, or incorrect. Information about the Native American peoples of the area is often included, but its brevity—especially regarding sacred locations—means readers are floundering without sufficient context. The same is true for many of the facts that relate directly to expansion and colonialism, such as the unexplained near extinction of bison. Describing the genealogical oral history of South Carolina’s Gullah community as “spin[ning] tales” is equally brusque and offensive. The book tries to do a lot, but it is more style than substance, which may leave readers bored, confused, slightly annoyed—or all three. (This book was reviewed digitally with 12.2-by-20.2-inch double-page spreads viewed at 80% of actual size.)

Go adventuring with a better guide. (tips on local adventuring, index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5445-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 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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