An immersive tour of oceanic realms.

ATLAS OF OCEAN ADVENTURES

A COLLECTION OF NATURAL WONDERS, MARINE MARVELS AND UNDERSEA ANTICS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE

A globe-spanning gallery of marine life in panoramic settings ranging from the rocky nesting sites of seabirds to the depths of the Marianas Trench.

Hawkins and Letherland (Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures, 2017, etc.) include stops in Arctic and other northerly waters but largely focus on named locales in the Pacific and the Southern Hemisphere. Painted views of a sperm whale and a colossal squid going tooth to tentacle in the Ross Sea or a teeming shoal of hammerhead sharks swirling around a Cocos Island seamount supply visual drama while undulating lines of accompanying captions offer generous dollops of the verbal sort: “The lionfish gets a taste of its own medicine as the Bobbit worm injects a paralyzing toxin. Dinner is served.” Here brightly colored sea dragons and other tropical fish dart through equally picturesque reefs, there blue-footed boobies and crimson Sally Lightfoot crabs (both “nifty little movers”) strut their stuff ashore. As if there weren’t natural business enough to provide an engrossing turmoil, sharp-eyed viewers will spot goggles on a leatherback turtle, a Magellanic penguin poised on a diving board, and other tongue-in-cheek tweaks. Periodic mentions of the dangers of floating plastic and other pollution add an undercurrent that surfaces at the end in a spread titled “Oceans in Danger.” Otherwise, aside from the occasional boat, humans and their works are absent.

An immersive tour of oceanic realms. (index) (Informational picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4531-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

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 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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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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