An eye-opening catalog of STEM wear.

READ REVIEW

SCIENTISTS GET DRESSED

From muddy waders and ragged work gloves to spacesuits and full-body panda suits, scientists in the field show off their wardrobes.

Starting with Mae Jemison on the cover, Rose puts an unusually diverse gallery of researchers on the figurative runway, full-color photos actually showing them at work studying sea turtles and volcanoes, an eclipse, whale sharks, glaciers, and honeybees…not to mention donning a spacesuit, maneuvering out of a wheelchair to gather tardigrades from a forest canopy, carrying a rescued bald eagle (previously met in the author’s Beauty and the Beak, 2017), and doing brain surgery. So where are the white lab coats, you ask? Meet neuroanatomist Marian Diamond, posing in one with a preserved human brain and the elegant hatbox in which she carries it when visiting classes. The narrative, printed in two fonts, with the smaller offering further detail for older readers, is paired to several color photos, often on gatefolds, that mix full-body views with inset close-ups of specimens or gear. Aside from a few group shots the men and women here are introduced by name, and though everyone is generically dubbed a “scientist” in the primary narrative, each specialty is identified at the end. There the author also places review questions and examples of citizen-scientist projects open to young volunteers.

An eye-opening catalog of STEM wear. (Nonfiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-943978-48-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Persnickety Press

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Phoned-in illustrations keep this quick overview firmly planted on the launch pad.

THE BIG BEYOND

THE STORY OF SPACE TRAVEL

A capsule history of space exploration, from early stargazing to probes roaming the surface of Mars.

In loosely rhymed couplets Carter’s high-speed account zooms past the inventions of constellations, telescopes, and flying machines to the launches of Sputnik I, the “Saturn Five” (spelled out, probably, to facilitate the rhyme) that put men on the moon, and later probes. He caps it all with an enticing suggestion: “We’ll need an astronaut (or two)— / so what do you think? Could it be YOU?” Cushley lines up a notably diverse array of prospective young space travelers for this finish, but anachronistic earlier views of a dark-skinned astronaut floating in orbit opposite poetic references to the dogs, cats, and other animals sent into space in the 1950s and a model of the space shuttle on a shelf next to a line of viewers watching the televised moon landing in 1969 show no great regard for verisimilitude. Also, his full-page opening picture of the Challenger, its ports painted to look like a smiley face, just moments before it blew up is a decidedly odd choice to illustrate the poem’s opening countdown. As with his cosmological lyric Once upon a Star (2018, illustrated by Mar Hernández), the poet closes with a page of further facts arranged as an acrostic.

Phoned-in illustrations keep this quick overview firmly planted on the launch pad. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-147-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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It’s not the most dramatic version, but it’s a visually effective and serviceable addition to the rapidly growing shelf of...

THE FIRST MEN WHO WENT TO THE MOON

A 50th-anniversary commemoration of the epochal Apollo 11 mission.

Modeling her account on “The House That Jack Built” (an unspoken, appropriate nod to President John F. Kennedy’s foundational role in the enterprise), Greene takes Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins from liftoff to post-splashdown ticker-tape parade. Side notes on some spreads and two pages of further facts with photographs at the end, all in smaller type, fill in select details about the mission and its historical context. The rhymed lines are fully cumulated only once, so there is some repetition but never enough to grow monotonous: “This is the Moon, a mysterious place, / a desolate land in the darkness of space, / far from Earth with oceans blue.” Also, the presentation of the text in just three or fewer lines per spread stretches out the narrative and gives Brundage latitude for both formal and informal group portraits of Apollo 11’s all-white crew, multiple glimpses of our planet and the moon at various heights, and, near the end, atmospheric (so to speak) views of the abandoned lander and boot prints in the lunar dust.

It’s not the most dramatic version, but it’s a visually effective and serviceable addition to the rapidly growing shelf of tributes to our space program’s high-water mark. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58536-412-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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