Fact-packed and thought-provoking with an intriguing design, a colorful reminder of “our beautiful home.” (glossary, index)...

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PRECIOUS PLANET

A USER'S MANUAL FOR CURIOUS EARTHLINGS

Explaining the workings of our planet through the metaphor of a house in which all parts are connected, this oversized import argues for its protection.

This graphically striking overview presents Earth from its beginnings as “a construction site” whose building took nearly 40 million years. Spread by spread and room by room, the French creators describe such things as the “security system” of Earth’s magnetic shield; the running fresh water and “bathroom” of seas and oceans; and the “greenhouse” of habitats and their plants. The textile industry is consigned to the “closet,” and our trash, compost, and medication to a “utility room.” Tectonic plates make up the first floor; the continents are living rooms. Humans and animals are equally “the roommates” as the creators take on both income inequality and endangered species. They even speculate about “vacation homes”—exploring and perhaps inhabiting other planets. The conceit makes a fine container for many facets of earth science, ecology, and conservation issues, and the author has based his statements on recent and generally accepted science theories. Large graphic panels are shaped, numbered, and colored to help readers make their ways through the text, which, sadly, is often set in white, sometimes very small print, as in a previous title from this trio, Recordmania (2018). The humans shown vary in age and skin tone.

Fact-packed and thought-provoking with an intriguing design, a colorful reminder of “our beautiful home.” (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-3-89955-837-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little Gestalten

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.

SURVIVOR KID

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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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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