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A meaty but easily digestible overview.

An introduction to everyone’s favorite coldblooded, scaly land (mostly) creatures.

De la Bédoyère tackles her topic in pithy, systematic observations. She opens with a look at reptilian types and anatomy, then surveys both modern and extinct species, then introduces reptiles resident in the Borneo rainforest and other habitats, discusses feeding and parenting patterns, explores survival strategies, explains brumation and other temperature-control mechanisms, looks at sea-turtle migration, and, to close, interrogates our various interactions with reptiles, from fashion and science to conservation efforts. Using what looks like a mix of brushwork and painted paper collage, Teckentrup depicts dozens of flat but realistically detailed snakes, lizards, and crocodilians, all labeled and posing individually or in groups in natural settings. Regular invitations to count or spot dinosaurs, camouflaged geckos, tiny Brookesia chameleons, a baby Komodo dragon, or other creatures will tempt viewers to linger over scenes and take closer looks at the flora as well as the fauna. Though realistic, the illustrations are not without whimsy. A depiction of a pit viper sensing a rat’s body heat positions the rodent’s silhouette as if seen with an infrared camera, a cone of white extending down from the snake’s eyes; a mother timber rattlesnake looks protectively behind her at her brood of snakelets. (This book was reviewed digitally with 11.8-by-18.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 60% of actual size.)

A meaty but easily digestible overview. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1707-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Big Picture/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe.

An introduction to gravity.

The book opens with the most iconic demonstration of gravity, an apple falling. Throughout, Herz tackles both huge concepts—how gravity compresses atoms to form stars and how black holes pull all kinds of matter toward them—and more concrete ones: how gravity allows you to jump up and then come back down to the ground. Gravity narrates in spare yet lyrical verse, explaining how it creates planets and compresses atoms and comparing itself to a hug. “My embrace is tight enough that you don’t float like a balloon, but loose enough that you can run and leap and play.” Gravity personifies itself at times: “I am stubborn—the bigger things are, the harder I pull.” Beautiful illustrations depict swirling planets and black holes alongside racially diverse children playing, running, and jumping, all thanks to gravity. Thorough backmatter discusses how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity and explains Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. While at times Herz’s explanations may be a bit too technical for some readers, burgeoning scientists will be drawn in.

An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 15, 2024

ISBN: 9781668936849

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

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From the How To Explain Science series

A lighthearted first look at an increasingly useful skill.

Grown-ups may not be the only audience for this simple explanation of how algorithms work.

Taking a confused-looking hipster parent firmly in hand, a child first points to all the computers around the house (“Pro Tip: When dealing with grown-ups, don’t jump into the complicated stuff too fast. Start with something they already know”). Next, the child leads the adult outside to make and follow step-by-step directions for getting to the park, deciding which playground equipment to use, and finally walking home. Along the way, concepts like conditionals and variables come into play in street maps and diagrams, and a literal bug stands in for the sort that programmers will inevitably need to find and solve. The lesson culminates in an actual sample of very simple code with labels that unpack each instruction…plus a pop quiz to lay out a decision tree for crossing the street, because if “your grown-up can explain it, that shows they understand it!” That goes for kids, too—and though Spiro doesn’t take the logical next step and furnish leads to actual manuals, young (and not so young) fledgling coders will find plenty of good ones around, such as Get Coding! (2017), published by Candlewick, or Rachel Ziter’s Coding From Scratch (2018).

A lighthearted first look at an increasingly useful skill. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2023

ISBN: 9781623543181

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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