Fascinating for both research and browsing.

RED ALERT!

ENDANGERED ANIMALS AROUND THE WORLD

Barr and Wilson introduce 15 creatures that are included on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s “Red List,” which designates danger categories from “extinct” to “least concern” for animals, plants, and fungi.

Animals described here are listed in the “vulnerable” to “critically endangered” categories. Using a “choose your own adventure” approach, an opening double-page spread directs readers to “pick a place” (biome), and then the next spread asks them to “choose a creature,” each bearing a page number, from that environment. On the indicated page, readers find an attractive full-bleed painting of the animal (generally out of scale) in its natural setting along with a small human. Each spread includes similar information in a clear layout: the creature’s common name, zoological classification, and Latin name; a short narrative text usually connecting the animal and the human depicted; bulleted facts; and a box entitled “DANGER!” that gives the IUCN category and reasons for the designation. Each section also refers readers to a later spread that lists one website per animal for further information along with suggestions for general conservation efforts—and that instructs readers to return to the beginning and explore another animal. Interested kids will read the whole engaging book. Deeply colored mixed-media illustrations occasionally obscure the text. A world map on the front endpapers showing the habitats of the animals is partially hidden by the jacket flap. The last page lists 60 other animals on the Red List, for further exploration.

Fascinating for both research and browsing. (Nonfiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: July 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58089-839-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A quick flight but a blast from first to last.

EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT SPACE AND OTHER GALACTIC FACTS!

From the Everything Awesome About… series

A charged-up roundup of astro-facts.

Having previously explored everything awesome about both dinosaurs (2019) and sharks (2020), Lowery now heads out along a well-traveled route, taking readers from the Big Bang through a planet-by-planet tour of the solar system and then through a selection of space-exploration highlights. The survey isn’t unique, but Lowery does pour on the gosh-wow by filling each hand-lettered, poster-style spread with emphatic colors and graphics. He also goes for the awesome in his selection of facts—so that readers get nothing about Newton’s laws of motion, for instance, but will come away knowing that just 65 years separate the Wright brothers’ flight and the first moon landing. They’ll also learn that space is silent but smells like burned steak (according to astronaut Chris Hadfield), that thanks to microgravity no one snores on the International Space Station, and that Buzz Aldrin was the first man on the moon…to use the bathroom. And, along with a set of forgettable space jokes (OK, one: “Why did the carnivore eat the shooting star?” “Because it was meteor”), the backmatter features drawing instructions for budding space artists and a short but choice reading list. Nods to Katherine Johnson and NASA’s other African American “computers” as well as astronomer Vera Rubin give women a solid presence in the otherwise male and largely White cast of humans. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A quick flight but a blast from first to last. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-35974-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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