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Terrific for classrooms and recreational browsing, this information-packed effort will also appeal to puzzle lovers and...

Take an eye-catching journey through the human body, examining various organs and systems.

Accurate, relatively detailed information spiced up by a humorous presentation accompanies lively, intricate illustrations of a human body–as-factory, staffed by hundreds of tiny uniformed workers whose dialogue bubbles contain information about the body’s functions. “Blood sugar needs to be topped off! I’ll send some agents to the liver with messages to release more glucose from its supplies,” thinks a worker in the pancreas as he juggles red briefcases of hormonal information to release. The Where’s Waldo?–style illustrations and relatively simple text (by comparison to David Macaulay's The Way We Work, 2008, for instance) will keep readers engaged, since there’s so much going on. If bodily functions aren’t sufficiently interesting for some readers, they can keep busy looking for a tiny skeletal figure hidden on each spread. Amusing trivia—“A dog’s olfactory bulbs are about 40 times bigger than a human’s”—adds yet another dimension to this surprisingly appealing yet comprehensive romp through anatomy and physiology. A glossary covers some of the more complex terms, but there is no source information. A large fold-out poster that draws together many of the individual systems will enhance understanding.

Terrific for classrooms and recreational browsing, this information-packed effort will also appeal to puzzle lovers and those that savor complex illustrations. (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: July 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7534-6808-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both.

Flash, Batman, and other characters from the DC Comics universe tackle supervillains and STEM-related topics and sometimes, both.

Credited to 20 writers and illustrators in various combinations, the 10 episodes invite readers to tag along as Mera and Aquaman visit oceanic zones from epipelagic to hadalpelagic; Supergirl helps a young scholar pick a science-project topic by taking her on a tour of the solar system; and Swamp Thing lends Poison Ivy a hand to describe how DNA works (later joining Swamp Kid to scuttle a climate-altering scheme by Arcane). In other episodes, various costumed creations explain the ins and outs of diverse large- and small-scale phenomena, including electricity, atomic structure, forensic techniques, 3-D printing, and the lactate threshold. Presumably on the supposition that the characters will be more familiar to readers than the science, the minilectures tend to start from simple basics, but the figures are mostly both redrawn to look more childlike than in the comics and identified only in passing. Drawing styles and page designs differ from chapter to chapter but not enough to interrupt overall visual unity and flow—and the cast is sufficiently diverse to include roles for superheroes (and villains) of color like Cyborg, Kid Flash, and the Latina Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. Appended lists of websites and science-based YouTube channels, plus instructions for homespun activities related to each episode, point inspired STEM-winders toward further discoveries.

Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both. (Graphic nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77950-382-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

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From the Giants of Science series

Hot on the heels of the well-received Leonardo da Vinci (2005) comes another agreeably chatty entry in the Giants of Science series. Here the pioneering physicist is revealed as undeniably brilliant, but also cantankerous, mean-spirited, paranoid and possibly depressive. Newton’s youth and annus mirabilis receive respectful treatment, the solitude enforced by family estrangement and then the plague seen as critical to the development of his thoughtful, methodical approach. His subsequent squabbles with the rest of the scientific community—he refrained from publishing one treatise until his rival was dead—further support the image of Newton as a scientific lone wolf. Krull’s colloquial treatment sketches Newton’s advances in clearly understandable terms without bogging the text down with detailed explanations. A final chapter on “His Impact” places him squarely in the pantheon of great thinkers, arguing that both his insistence on the scientific method and his theories of physics have informed all subsequent scientific thought. A bibliography, web site and index round out the volume; the lack of detail on the use of sources is regrettable in an otherwise solid offering for middle-grade students. (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-05921-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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