Well worth a go for being so expansive and a bit more than ankle deep.

A steady stream of information about marine chemistry and ecology…with a few drops of common sense.

Yes, the author concludes, after describing in some detail the main components of urine and how our bodies produce it, peeing in the ocean is OK—after all, not only is the ocean really big, but whales and fish do it on a much larger scale, and smaller organisms like phytoplankton and corals actually depend on that for nutrients. How about elsewhere, like showers and swimming pools? Fine for the former, since the water isn’t lingering (though, Schwartz, cautions, avoid doing it in public showers); not OK for the latter, though from a scientific standpoint less because it’s gross than because it promotes unsafe bacterial growth. Schwartz directs her narrative flow away from issues connected to solid biowastes but does go on to sprinkle facts and insights on an impressive array of broad environmental topics from marine noise pollution to the effects of oil spills and plastic waste on oceanic acidity and habitats. She also stirs in directions for several simple demonstrations using, mostly, water and food coloring and closes with feasible suggested activities and a blank journal page for young “ocean protectors.” The two human figures who pop into view most often in Williams’ informally drawn spot art are both people of color.

Well worth a go for being so expansive and a bit more than ankle deep. (author’s note, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2023

ISBN: 9781681195131

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023


The author of The Snake Scientist (not reviewed) takes the reader along on another adventure, this time to the Bay of Bengal, between India and Bangladesh to the Sundarbans Tiger Preserve in search of man-eating tigers. Beware, he cautions, “Your study subject might be trying to eat you!” The first-person narrative is full of helpful warnings: watch out for the estuarine crocodiles, “the most deadly crocodiles in the world” and the nine different kinds of dangerous sharks, and the poisonous sea snakes, more deadly than the cobra. Interspersed are stories of the people who live in and around the tiger preserve, information on the ecology of the mangrove swamp, myths and legends, and true life accounts of man-eating tigers. (Fortunately, these tigers don’t eat women or children.) The author is clearly on the side of the tigers as she states: “Even if you added up all the people that sick tigers were forced to eat, you wouldn’t get close to the number of tigers killed by people.” She introduces ideas as to why Sundarbans tigers eat so many people, including the theory, “When they attack people, perhaps they are trying to protect the land that they own. And maybe, as the ancient legend says, the tiger really is watching over the forest—for everyone’s benefit.” There are color photographs on every page, showing the landscape, people, and a variety of animals encountered, though glimpses of the tigers are fleeting. The author concludes with some statistics on tigers, information on organizations working to protect them, and a brief bibliography and index. The dramatic cover photo of the tiger will attract readers, and the lively prose will keep them engaged. An appealing science adventure. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-618-07704-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001


In this glossy photo essay, the author briefly recounts the study and exploration of the moon, beginning with Stonehenge and concluding with the 1998–99 unmanned probe, Lunar Prospector. Most of the dramatic photographs come from NASA and will introduce a new generation of space enthusiasts to the past missions of Project Mercury, Gemini, and most especially the moon missions, Apollo 1–17. There are plenty of photographs of various astronauts in space capsules, space suits, and walking on the moon. Sometimes photographs are superimposed one on another, making it difficult to read. For example, one photograph shows the command module Columbia as photographed from the lunar module and an insert shows the 15-layer space suit and gear Neil Armstrong would wear for moonwalking. That’s a lot to process on one page. Still, the awesome images of footprints on the moon, raising the American flag, and earthrise from the moon, cannot help but raise shivers. The author concludes with a timeline of exploration, Web sites, recommended books, and picture credits. For NASA memorabilia collectors, end papers show the Apollo space badges for missions 11–17. Useful for replacing aging space titles. (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-57091-408-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001

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