Adequate science; inadequate art and plot.

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LET'S RIDE A WAVE!

DIVING INTO THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT AND SOUND WAVES WITH PHYSICS

From the Everyday Science Academy series

A picture book that explains the physics of waves.

Red Kangaroo, the protagonist of this story and the one whose questions propel the flimsy plot, relaxes on a beach and ponders the surf, then decides to ask Dr. Chris whether “waves ever stop.” Dr. Chris, a lab-coated white man with pale skin and rosy cheeks, answers this question and all the others that Red Kangaroo poses about waves. Throughout the story, Dr. Chris teaches Red Kangaroo about wavelength, electromagnetic waves, the visible light spectrum, microwaves, X-rays, and more. Many of the key terms appear in boldface type, and in the extensive backmatter, the glossary offers definitions of all of the terms discussed. There’s also a quiz to help readers check their learning as well as several hands-on activities, with illustrations, to get kids experimenting with waves themselves. Much more instructional than entertaining, this book, like Let’s Fly a Plane, a simultaneously publishing companion in Ferrie’s Everyday Science Academy series, would be suitable additions to science lessons but not likely pleasure reading. Furthermore, the poor-quality illustrations, with repeated depictions of a lecturing Dr. Chris showing barely any variation from spread to spread—or book to book, for that matter—help explain concepts but add nothing aesthetically.

Adequate science; inadequate art and plot. (Informational picture book. 8-10 )

Pub Date: June 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8058-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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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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