Playful measures and matches, whether measured in inches or dinosaurs.

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COMPARISONS BIG AND SMALL

Answers for anyone who has ever wondered whether a horse is faster than a hare or what the weight of a blue whale is—in tyrannosaurs.

In a mix of infographics and captions, both of which incorporate units of measure conventional and otherwise, each spread brings together assorted animals, weather phenomena, record setters, very big machines, or other thematically linked images or items as invitations to make comparisons. Along with being drawn reasonably close to scale, the figures are positioned to make those comparisons easy. They also often incorporate visual expressions of certain measures so that viewers can instantly contrast, for instance, the heights of the Empire State Building and the Burj Khalifa or the amount of water in a typical cat, dog, human (both baby and grown-up), cactus, and wedge of cheddar. Where humans are involved, as in lineups showing stages of development from newborn on or the seven children (one in a wheelchair) that measure up to one triceratops, Seixas consciously mixes gender presentations, races, and ages. Much of the information in the art and in Gifford’s quick comments looks to be averages or estimates—and is hard to check since sources go unmentioned. Still, this considerably streamlined spinoff of his The Book of Comparisons, illustrated by Paul Boston (2018), will clue younger audiences in to diverse ways of sizing up the world around them.

Playful measures and matches, whether measured in inches or dinosaurs. (Informational picture book. 7-9.)

Pub Date: June 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68464-086-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Together with its companions, too rushed to be first introductions but suitable as second ones.

MARIE CURIE AND RADIOACTIVITY

From the Graphic Science Biographies series

A highlights reel of the great scientist’s life and achievements, from clandestine early schooling to the founding of Warsaw’s Radium Institute.

In big sequential panels Bayarri dashes through Curie’s career, barely pausing at significant moments (“Mother! A letter just arrived. It’s from Sweden,” announces young Irène. “Oh, really?…They’re awarding me another Nobel!”) in a seeming rush to cover her youth, family life, discoveries, World War I work, and later achievements (with only a closing timeline noting her death, of “aplastic anemia”). Button-eyed but recognizable figures in the panels pour out lecture-ish dialogue. This is well stocked with names and scientific terms but offered with little or no context—characteristics shared by co-published profiles on Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity (“You and your thought experiments, Albert!” “We love it! The other day, Schrödinger thought up one about a cat”), Charles Darwin and the Theory of Evolution, and Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion. Dark-skinned Tierra del Fuegans make appearances in Darwin, prompting the young naturalist to express his strong anti-slavery views; otherwise the cast is white throughout the series. Engagingly informal as the art and general tone of the narratives are, the books will likely find younger readers struggling to keep up, but kids already exposed to the names and at least some of the concepts will find these imports, translated from the Basque, helpful if, at times, dry overviews.

Together with its companions, too rushed to be first introductions but suitable as second ones. (glossary, index, resource list) (Graphic biography. 7-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-7821-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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A sketchy teaser in search of an audience.

EDDIE THE ELECTRON MOVES OUT

From the Eddie the Electron series , Vol. 2

A subatomic narrator describes how helium, a nonrenewable resource, is formed deep underground.

The very simple cartoon style of the illustrations suggests a breezier ride than the scientifically challenging content delivers. With much reliance on explanatory endnotes, Rooney sends her zippy narrator—newly freed from a popped balloon (see Eddie the Electron, 2015)—barreling its way past billions of nitrogen and oxygen atoms to the top of the atmosphere. Eddie describes how uranium and thorium trapped in the newly formed planet’s crust self-destructed to leave helium as a stable byproduct. Billions of tedious years later (“I thought I would die of pair annihilation!”) that helium was extracted for a wide variety of industrial uses. Following mentions of Einstein and how Eddie is mysteriously connected to other atoms “in a way that surpasses space and time,” the popeyed purple particle floats off with a plea to cut down on the party balloons to conserve a rare element. Younger readers may find this last notion easier to latch onto than the previous dose of physics, which is seriously marred both by the vague allusions and by Eddie’s identification as a helium atom rather than the free electron that his portrayals in the art, not to mention his moniker, indicate.

A sketchy teaser in search of an audience. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-944995-14-0

Page Count: 27

Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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