A solid addition to the growing collection of fine volumes about Apollo 11.

GO FOR THE MOON

A ROCKET, A BOY, AND THE FIRST MOON LANDING

The Apollo 11 mission ignites a young boy’s lifelong passion for rockets and astronomy.

A stately Saturn V rocket stands ready, illuminated by beams of light against a night sky. Turn the page, and a stunning white moon with a hazy halo shares that night sky, the words “The moon is out tonight” superimposed invitingly on its surface. Next, a young white boy (assumed to be a young version of the author) stares at the moon through his open bedroom window, thinking, “I’m so excited that I can’t sleep!” Effectively set up by these first images, the narrative proceeds to weave the three threads—the rocket, the moon, and the boy—into a volume that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing. The boy’s first-person narrative and supporting illustrations are set within the larger moon-mission illustrations like family photographs. The science behind the Saturn V rocket is related simply, large-format illustrations emphasizing the grandeur of the Apollo endeavor. The moon itself, ever present and awaiting, gets short shrift once the astronauts set foot on the surface; they spend two and a half hours and off they go, blasting off and heading home. The final double-page spread is a stunning, vertiginous view of the boy’s next generation of homemade rockets lifting off.

A solid addition to the growing collection of fine volumes about Apollo 11. (author’s note, fun facts, glossary, sources, places to visit) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-15579-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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A winning heads up for younger readers just becoming aware of the wider natural world.

DON'T LET THEM DISAPPEAR

An appeal to share concern for 12 familiar but threatened, endangered, or critically endangered animal species.

The subjects of Marino’s intimate, close-up portraits—fairly naturalistically rendered, though most are also smiling, glancing up at viewers through human eyes, and posed at rest with a cute youngling on lap or flank—steal the show. Still, Clinton’s accompanying tally of facts about each one’s habitat and daily routines, to which the title serves as an ongoing refrain, adds refreshingly unsentimental notes: “A single giraffe kick can kill a lion!”; “[S]hivers of whale sharks can sense a drop of blood if it’s in the water nearby, though they eat mainly plankton.” Along with tucking in collective nouns for each animal (some not likely to be found in major, or any, dictionaries: an “embarrassment” of giant pandas?), the author systematically cites geographical range, endangered status, and assumed reasons for that status, such as pollution, poaching, or environmental change. She also explains the specific meaning of “endangered” and some of its causes before closing with a set of doable activities (all uncontroversial aside from the suggestion to support and visit zoos) and a list of international animal days to celebrate.

A winning heads up for younger readers just becoming aware of the wider natural world. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51432-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts.

THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF PLANET EARTH

Flaps, pull tabs, and pop-ups large and small enhance views of our planet’s inside, outside, atmosphere, biosphere, and geophysics.

It’s a hefty, high-speed tour through Earth’s features, climates, and natural resources, with compressed surveys of special topics on multileveled flaps and a spread on the history of life that is extended by a double-foldout wing. But even when teeming with small images of land forms, wildlife, or diverse groups of children and adults, Balicevic’s bright cartoon illustrations look relatively uncrowded. Although the quality of the paper engineering is uneven, the special effects add dramatic set pieces: Readers need to hold in place a humongous column of cumulonimbus clouds for it to reach its full extension; a volcano erupts in a gratifyingly large scale; and, on the plate-tectonics spread, a pull tab gives readers the opportunity to run the Indian Plate into the Eurasian one and see the Himalayas bulge up. A final spread showing resources, mostly renewable ones, being tapped ends with an appeal to protect “our only home.” All in all, it’s a likely alternative to Dougal Jerram’s Utterly Amazing Earth, illustrated by Dan Crisp and Molly Lattin (2017), being broader in scope and a bit more generous in its level of detail.

It’s nothing new in territory or angle, but it’s still a serviceable survey with reasonably durable moving parts. (Informational novelty. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 979-1-02760-562-0

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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