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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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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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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