Zigzag itinerary notwithstanding, a brisk and inventive excursion.

READ REVIEW

ALL ABOARD THE VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY

From the All Aboard series

A lift-the-flap cruise past select highlights in the history of human communication, from cave paintings to talkies.

Squired by a pair of tour guides—one black and one white—readers board an unusually versatile ocean liner in 1927 for passage to 1799 Egypt for a look at the newly discovered Rosetta Stone. From there it’s on to visit 16th-century English graphite mines and learn about the invention of the pencil; 17th-century Strasbourg (then a free city of the Holy Roman Empire) to witness the birth of newspapers; then see both Napoleon’s “optical telegraph” and the better-known electrical sort in action; and get good looks at the births of airmail, radio, photography, and finally moving pictures. Along with sets of clues to a side mystery that are coded in various alphabets and ciphers, the multiple flaps incorporated into each big, bright painted scene conceal descriptions and diagrams of each invention, notes on related advances, historical anecdotes, and tributes to significant figures. Alert viewers will spot repeated text under one flap and (a classic error) wrong-way threads on the screw of the printing press. Also, TV doesn’t make the cut, nor do any developments after the arrival of talking pictures. Otherwise, the liner puts in at major ports of call while venturing into some less-well-known technological inlets.

Zigzag itinerary notwithstanding, a brisk and inventive excursion. (Informational novelty. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-78603-225-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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