Though not quite the dino-pedia to rule them all, this multimedia version of the already-terrific print edition of the same title will certainly set young dinophiles roaring. First and most spectacularly, in about 125 full-screen page images and nearly 700 small index portraits Tempesta’s sharply and credibly detailed dinosaurs pose in brightly colored glory. They can be viewed from angles that show off teeth, scales, beady eyes and size, all to riveting effect. Mirroring the print edition, three separate sections focus, respectively, on 32 meat-eaters, 43 vegetarians and 22 related topics such as dino behavior and habitats, how fossils form and renowned paleontologists. The gallery of one or two screen topical “spreads” is enhanced by 14 video clips and also by (optional) melodramatic audio renditions of the short blocks of descriptive text that pop up on command. The table of contents is constructed as a scrolling set of labeled thumbnails. A menu bar at the top features quick links to the videos, a dinosaur family tree and also the encyclopedia portion of the app, which comprises fact boxes and small images for every genus of dinosaur discovered to date. Despite the enhancement, this is still a work in progress as, with minor exceptions, screen orientation is portrait only, and, aside from one clip in which the author relates an amusing anecdote, the videos are all oddly silent animations of dinosaurs in motion (and all last just 20 seconds or less). Still, the outstanding art and the unmatched breadth of content move this to the head of the Dino-app pack. (iPad reference app. 7-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2010


Page Count: -

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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


From the Everything Awesome About… series

A quick flight but a blast from first to last.

A charged-up roundup of astro-facts.

Having previously explored everything awesome about both dinosaurs (2019) and sharks (2020), Lowery now heads out along a well-traveled route, taking readers from the Big Bang through a planet-by-planet tour of the solar system and then through a selection of space-exploration highlights. The survey isn’t unique, but Lowery does pour on the gosh-wow by filling each hand-lettered, poster-style spread with emphatic colors and graphics. He also goes for the awesome in his selection of facts—so that readers get nothing about Newton’s laws of motion, for instance, but will come away knowing that just 65 years separate the Wright brothers’ flight and the first moon landing. They’ll also learn that space is silent but smells like burned steak (according to astronaut Chris Hadfield), that thanks to microgravity no one snores on the International Space Station, and that Buzz Aldrin was the first man on the moon…to use the bathroom. And, along with a set of forgettable space jokes (OK, one: “Why did the carnivore eat the shooting star?” “Because it was meteor”), the backmatter features drawing instructions for budding space artists and a short but choice reading list. Nods to Katherine Johnson and NASA’s other African American “computers” as well as astronomer Vera Rubin give women a solid presence in the otherwise male and largely White cast of humans. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A quick flight but a blast from first to last. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-35974-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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