Despite its limited scope, both a relatively useful reference and a gee-whiz compendium of cool speed facts.

READ REVIEW

FULL SPEED AHEAD!

HOW FAST THINGS GO

This retro-designed information book has a simple intention: to compare things that go at different speeds.

The left-hand page of each spread displays a speed in large type, and on each facing page, animals and vehicles that travel at that speed are illustrated. The speeds go up incrementally from 0.3 kph (sea horse and Galápagos tortoise) to 100,000 kph (shooting star). (English conversions are provided in smaller type.) The “wow” factor is predictably large, and animals often come off as well or better than machines; the humble swift can fly at 200 kph, the same speed as an MD500 helicopter, and a frigate bird can fly as fast as a Formula 1 race car (350 kph). Readers hungry for more than the bare-bones information offered in the spreads can consult the backmatter, which comprises technical descriptions of each vehicle or animal described. There are many nifty factoids that kids will savor, such as the fact that the Earth spins at a mind-blowing average speed of 1,670 kph! The book's French origins are evident; along with the metric units, some vehicles may be unfamiliar to American readers. Nevertheless, the strong, bright graphics and clean lines make the information readily accessible and easy for young children to grasp.

Despite its limited scope, both a relatively useful reference and a gee-whiz compendium of cool speed facts. (Informational picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1338-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off.

TINY LITTLE ROCKET

This rocket hopes to take its readers on a birthday blast—but there may or may not be enough fuel.

Once a year, a one-seat rocket shoots out from Earth. Why? To reveal a special congratulatory banner for a once-a-year event. The second-person narration puts readers in the pilot’s seat and, through a (mostly) ballad-stanza rhyme scheme (abcb), sends them on a journey toward the sun, past meteors, and into the Kuiper belt. The final pages include additional information on how birthdays are measured against the Earth’s rotations around the sun. Collingridge aims for the stars with this title, and he mostly succeeds. The rhyme scheme flows smoothly, which will make listeners happy, but the illustrations (possibly a combination of paint with digital enhancements) may leave the viewers feeling a little cold. The pilot is seen only with a 1960s-style fishbowl helmet that completely obscures the face, gender, and race by reflecting the interior of the rocket ship. This may allow readers/listeners to picture themselves in the role, but it also may divest them of any emotional connection to the story. The last pages—the backside of a triple-gatefold spread—label the planets and include Pluto. While Pluto is correctly labeled as a dwarf planet, it’s an unusual choice to include it but not the other dwarfs: Ceres, Eris, etc. The illustration also neglects to include the asteroid belt or any of the solar system’s moons.

A fair choice, but it may need some support to really blast off. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-18949-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: David Fickling/Phoenix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more