A stellar addition to a rather empty shelf.

TOO HOT? TOO COLD?

KEEPING BODY TEMPERATURE JUST RIGHT

A fascinating and thorough look at how both animals and humans regulate their body temperatures.

Beginning with the difference between warmblooded and coldblooded species (the terms endothermic and ectothermic are introduced but not used), Arnold devotes spreads to such topics as muscle movements, sweating, the shrinking and expanding of blood vessels in the skin, fat, body coverings, and the size and shape of an animal. Behavior can also affect body temperature: animals or humans can seek/avoid the sun or a breeze, cool off or warm up with water, find shelter, or hibernate/estivate/migrate. The one misstep is a minor quibble—a sentence incorrectly states that “No animal can live if its body temperature falls below freezing.” The copyright page lists the illustrations as having been done in watercolor and Photoshop, but readers would be hard-pressed to see any evidence of digital artwork here. The spreads and spot illustrations have that blurry, batik quality of watercolors that lends itself so well to nature scenes, while the insets are well-delineated, allowing readers to understand the structures discussed in the text. Every animal is labeled, making this a great jumping-off point for further research into readers’ favorites. A glossary and author’s note round out the text.

A stellar addition to a rather empty shelf. (Nonfiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-58089-276-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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Adventure, humor, and smart, likable characters make for a winning chapter book.

ADA TWIST AND THE PERILOUS PANTS

From the Questioneers series , Vol. 2

Ada Twist’s incessant stream of questions leads to answers that help solve a neighborhood crisis.

Ada conducts experiments at home to answer questions such as, why does Mom’s coffee smell stronger than Dad’s coffee? Each answer leads to another question, another hypothesis, and another experiment, which is how she goes from collecting data on backyard birds for a citizen-science project to helping Rosie Revere figure out how to get her uncle Ned down from the sky, where his helium-filled “perilous pants” are keeping him afloat. The Questioneers—Rosie the engineer, Iggy Peck the architect, and Ada the scientist—work together, asking questions like scientists. Armed with knowledge (of molecules and air pressure, force and temperature) but more importantly, with curiosity, Ada works out a solution. Ada is a recognizable, three-dimensional girl in this delightfully silly chapter book: tirelessly curious and determined yet easily excited and still learning to express herself. If science concepts aren’t completely clear in this romp, relationships and emotions certainly are. In playful full- and half-page illustrations that break up the text, Ada is black with Afro-textured hair; Rosie and Iggy are white. A closing section on citizen science may inspire readers to get involved in science too; on the other hand, the “Ode to a Gas!” may just puzzle them. Other backmatter topics include the importance of bird study and the threat palm-oil use poses to rainforests.

Adventure, humor, and smart, likable characters make for a winning chapter book. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3422-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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A lighthearted read that will offer comfort to young children that others too face challenges of friendship, teamwork and...

PARKER BELL AND THE SCIENCE OF FRIENDSHIP

In her debut chapter book, Platt shares the story of a young girl navigating friendships and the challenges of trying to win her school’s science triathlon.

Young Parker Bell is a curious child who loves science and aspires to match up to Mae Jemison and Jane Goodall one day. Her best friend and partner in science is coding whiz Cassie Malouf. They have been best friends since kindergarten, but Parker gets jealous when Cassie suddenly starts becoming friendly with Theo Zachary, a shy boy in their class. Parker worries that Cassie likes Theo more than her, and she fights hard to keep her friend. Matters only get worse when Cassie invites Theo to be part of their team for the science triathlon, which features a science trivia contest, an egg drop, and a presentation. In a somewhat predictable plot, Parker realizes she has a lot in common with Theo as she spends more time with him. Platt works hard to defy gender stereotypes. In addition to the girls’ STEM enthusiasm, Parker’s mom teaches phys ed, her dad owns a bakery, and Cassie’s mom teaches math. Zhai’s simple black-and-white illustrations of Parker, Cassie, and the classrooms provide a good visual aid to the story, depicting Parker and Theo as white and Cassie with dark skin and long black hair.

A lighthearted read that will offer comfort to young children that others too face challenges of friendship, teamwork and competition. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-97347-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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