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Some children will dig in, but most will leave it unfinished.

The prominent cover image of a bulldog with a pool of puke at its feet will cause kids with a gag reflex to retch, while those into the gross will chortle with glee.

Unfortunately even the latter category will find this, a companion to Get the Scoop on Animal Poop (2012), to be an unsatisfactory stew. The table of contents seems to indicate a careful assemblage of digestible facts including “Toxic Puke Defense,” “Indigestible Puke,” “Baby Pukers” and so on. However, some comments seem incomplete or misleading, starting with one in the introduction: “You may think of puking as a bad thing: it makes your stomach hurt and smells gross. In the animal world, though, vomiting helps animals in many ways.” This seems to suggest that there is a difference between humans and animals and that humans do not benefit from vomiting, yet the reasons we do are covered in a later chapter. “Puke Defense” states that some animals defend themselves and their young with vomit. Cool, but inquisitive readers will not find a definite explanation: Do they spew on predators as a weapon or on themselves to become unsavory? “Cud Pukers” introduces the concept of a four-chamber stomach, yet the role of the second chamber is not covered, nor are chambers labeled on the diagram.

Some children will dig in, but most will leave it unfinished. (glossary, research source notes, further reading, indexes) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62354-045-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Imagine Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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1001 BEES

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe.

An introduction to gravity.

The book opens with the most iconic demonstration of gravity, an apple falling. Throughout, Herz tackles both huge concepts—how gravity compresses atoms to form stars and how black holes pull all kinds of matter toward them—and more concrete ones: how gravity allows you to jump up and then come back down to the ground. Gravity narrates in spare yet lyrical verse, explaining how it creates planets and compresses atoms and comparing itself to a hug. “My embrace is tight enough that you don’t float like a balloon, but loose enough that you can run and leap and play.” Gravity personifies itself at times: “I am stubborn—the bigger things are, the harder I pull.” Beautiful illustrations depict swirling planets and black holes alongside racially diverse children playing, running, and jumping, all thanks to gravity. Thorough backmatter discusses how Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity and explains Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. While at times Herz’s explanations may be a bit too technical for some readers, burgeoning scientists will be drawn in.

An in-depth and visually pleasing look at one of the most fundamental forces in the universe. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 15, 2024

ISBN: 9781668936849

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

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