A busy redwood outing that will nevertheless stir readers’ curiosity.

READ REVIEW

THE FOREST IN THE TREES

High among the coast redwoods, there exists a world within a world.

These towering giants known as redwood trees, which line a stretch of land that hugs the Pacific Ocean, hold various other plant and animal life “high in their branches, hundreds of feet above the ground.” Called a canopy, this secluded world is home to shrubs such as elderberry and gooseberry and ferns mats “soggy and heavy,” as well as sow bugs and pill bugs, “the only crustaceans that live on land,” and Humboldt flying squirrels. McLennan’s trunks-to-lichens tour of the redwoods takes readers on a vivid voyage of discovery. Two narrative threads compete for readers’ attention throughout the book, co-existing on the same spread. One narrative thread is carried in “House That Jack Built”–like verse that grows the further readers delve in; each page turn brings in a new image to name, a new shade of color to the hidden world. The other narrative, meanwhile, offers up facts for readers, interpreting each pictorial scene in reader-friendly scientific terms. However, both verse and facts fail to jell well on the page, with the informational bits often disrupting the poetic flow. Thanks to the vibrant, earthy pictures, the redwoods’ immensity and swarming life of the canopy are the highlights. Backmatter aimed at sparking “creative minds” adds opportunities to consider further.

A busy redwood outing that will nevertheless stir readers’ curiosity. (activities, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64351-350-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Arbordale

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Wow.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

THE STUFF OF STARS

The stories of the births of the universe, the planet Earth, and a human child are told in this picture book.

Bauer begins with cosmic nothing: “In the dark / in the deep, deep dark / a speck floated / invisible as thought / weighty as God.” Her powerful words build the story of the creation of the universe, presenting the science in poetic free verse. First, the narrative tells of the creation of stars by the Big Bang, then the explosions of some of those stars, from which dust becomes the matter that coalesces into planets, then the creation of life on Earth: a “lucky planet…neither too far / nor too near…its yellow star…the Sun.” Holmes’ digitally assembled hand-marbled paper-collage illustrations perfectly pair with the text—in fact the words and illustrations become an inseparable whole, as together they both delineate and suggest—the former telling the story and the latter, with their swirling colors suggestive of vast cosmos, contributing the atmosphere. It’s a stunning achievement to present to readers the factual events that created the birth of the universe, the planet Earth, and life on Earth with such an expressive, powerful creativity of words paired with illustrations so evocative of the awe and magic of the cosmos. But then the story goes one brilliant step further and gives the birth of a child the same beginning, the same sense of magic, the same miracle.

Wow. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7883-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more