A necessary, engaging book that shines a light on solar energy.

RUNNING ON SUNSHINE

HOW DOES SOLAR ENERGY WORK?

From the Let's Read and Find Out series

An introduction to solar power.

DeCristofano’s engaging, conversational text compares how solar panels work to plant photosynthesis, though it never uses that scientific term. Nor does it name climate change, though it identifies pollution caused by generators at energy plants as a main culprit behind negative “changes to weather patterns” and suggests solar energy as a clean alternative. The text excels at clearly describing how solar energy is gathered, stored, and used, and it also highlights current innovations and anticipates new developments to make solar energy use more widespread and effective. The hopeful, aspirational tone is downright sunny and is well-matched with Medeiros’ clear, graphic illustrations, which she created digitally. While neither pictures nor expository text follow specific characters, the artwork depicts diverse people of varied skin tones, genders, and abilities interacting with solar-powered devices and working with solar technology, including two spreads with women of color wearing the hijab in different settings. The text also examines current difficulties and limitations of solar technology, though it doesn’t explore specifics about the process of manufacturing solar cells and panels.

A necessary, engaging book that shines a light on solar energy. (experiments, glossary) (Informational picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-247311-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF ANIMALS

An outsized overview of animal types, senses, and common characteristics liberally endowed with flaps, pull-tabs, and like furbelows.

Della Malva’s realistically drawn animals crowd sturdy leaves large enough to feature life-size (or nearly so) images of the folded wings of a sea gull and a macaw, and Baumann fills the gaps between with meaty descriptive comments. On every page elements that lift, unfold, pop up, or spin aren’t just slapped on, but actively contribute to the presentation. On a “Birth and Growing” spread, for instance, each of six eggs from ostrich to platypus is a flap with an embryo beneath; a spinner presents a slideshow of a swallowtail’s life cycle from egg to adult; and no fewer than three attached booklets expand on the general topic using other species. Subsequent spreads cover animal sight, hearing, body coverings, grasping and touch, locomotion, and—centering on a startling gander down the pop-up maw of a wolf—eating. The animals and relevant body parts are all clearly labeled, and the text is pitched to serve equally well both casual browsers (“Even fish pee!”) and young zoologists seriously interested in the difference between “scales” and “scutes” or curious about the range of insect-mouth shapes.

Big and likely to draw a large audience both for its subject and the plethora of interactive doodads. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68464-281-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature.

OVER AND UNDER THE WAVES

From the Over and Under series

In a new entry in the Over and Under series, a paddleboarder glimpses humpback whales leaping, floats over a populous kelp forest, and explores life on a beach and in a tide pool.

In this tale inspired by Messner’s experiences in Monterey Bay in California, a young tan-skinned narrator, along with their light-skinned mom and tan-skinned dad, observes in quiet, lyrical language sights and sounds above and below the sea’s serene surface. Switching perspectives and angles of view and often leaving the family’s red paddleboards just tiny dots bobbing on distant swells, Neal’s broad seascapes depict in precise detail bat stars and anchovies, kelp bass, and sea otters going about their business amid rocky formations and the swaying fronds of kelp…and, further out, graceful moon jellies and—thrillingly—massive whales in open waters beneath gliding pelicans and other shorebirds. After returning to the beach at day’s end to search for shells and to spot anemones and decorator crabs, the child ends with nighttime dreams of stars in the sky meeting stars in the sea. Appended nature notes on kelp and 21 other types of sealife fill in details about patterns and relationships in this rich ecosystem. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-79720-347-8

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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