A soaring imaginary journey for young readers wondering about their places in space.


On a broad, continuous, accordion-folded strip tucked between oversize covers, an excursion from the Earth’s surface to the far reaches of the solar system and back.

Beginning and ending with the dark-skinned, green-eyed child on the cover, Zommer’s painted illustrations lead readers’ eyes upward past high-rise buildings and through the atmosphere’s layers to the International Space Station, then on beyond to the moon and the planets. Then, after pausing to regard the distant stars and the Milky Way, the journey back allows glimpses of comets and meteoroids, types of clouds, migrating birds of several species, mountain sheep, and swooping hang gliders before coming to rest on a grassy hilltop. The artist adds details aplenty to spot along the way, from paper airplanes and space telescopes to small human figures (in the terrestrial scenes) with, mostly, brown or solid black faces. Printed in undulating clusters of type that suggest flowing winds and rounded orbits, Gullain’s narrative reads with natural ease from bottom to top up to the midway point, then descends—tallying wonders while pointing out street signs and window cleaners, a cutaway Soyuz capsule, each planet, and other details as it goes and also keeping track of heights and distances.

A soaring imaginary journey for young readers wondering about their places in space. (atmosphere chart) (Informational novelty. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-910277-69-0

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Words & Pictures

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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More thoughtful, sometimes exhilarating encounters with nature.


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 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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A solid addition to the climate-change canon for those interested in saving a fragile world.


From the If Animals Disappeared series

Dire consequences attend the unchecked melting of Arctic sea ice.

The more the ice melts, the more the Arctic climate changes. The more that air and ground temperatures rise, the more the frozen ecosystem’s inhabitants, including plants and insects, suffer from dwindling habitats; threats to food sources; and imbalances in feeding, breeding, and migration patterns. Solid information is packed into this brief work that lucidly raises the alarm for young readers, with each spread capturing the thrilling, chilling north in rich, dramatic blue swathes of seawater set off by icy glaciers and snowdrifts. Child-friendly, occasionally cluttered paintings, some with labels, highlight polar bears and their Arctic neighbors; a spread of vignettes illustrates how changes to plant life affect wildlife. One labeled spread explains all: As seawater warms, it absorbs sunlight, thus heating more water and melting more ice. One poignant spread depicts a bewildered polar bear mom, eyeing readers and flanked by her twin cubs, drifting on a shrinking ice floe. Two human children, one brown-skinned and one pale, occasionally appear in the illustrations as well. The book ends on a hopeful note, reassuring youngsters that “we still have time to save polar bears and slow the loss of Arctic ice.” A note in the backmatter offers conservation tips.

A solid addition to the climate-change canon for those interested in saving a fragile world. (author’s note, bibliography, additional sources) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-14319-8

Page Count: 42

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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