MISSION TO MARS

The incomparable creator of this pioneering series, who will be sadly missed by all young scientists, extends an invitation and sparks the imagination as he authors another outstanding title in the Lets-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. He begins: “In this century, you may become the first person to walk on Mars.” What would the journey be like? How would you get there? What would you take with you? How would you survive on the planet? He explains with brief, simple text, using what scientists know about the planet and extrapolating from previous space explorations. He uses photos from NASA to explain surface conditions, give facts about gravity, and proof that there was once water and could be still. Kelley (Three More Stories You Can Read to Your Cat, p. 341, etc.) provides meticulous pen-and-watercolor drawings that show men and women aboard the space ship, setting up the Mars station, and moving along the rocky terrain of the planet. Double-page spreads of the red-orange landscape and rocky surface are especially captivating. The author concludes with more facts about the planet and a Pathfinder photograph of Mars on which various rocks are named. A book to give young explorers goosebumps. (Nonfiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-06-029807-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2002

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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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A PLACE FOR BIRDS

An accessible introduction to environmental issues, this title focuses on the effects, good and bad, that human behavior has on birds, highlighting the progress that we’ve made toward living in harmony with our winged friends and acknowledging problems still not solved. The rhythmic main text highlights birds’ needs and what people can do to see that they are met. Insets on each page then provide specific examples to drive the point home. For instance, one spread explains that some birds need thick woodlands in which to make their homes. The accompanying inset tells the story of the spotted owl, which, though once facing the possibility of extinction due to the loss of its habitat, saw its chances for survival increase dramatically when Congress worked to protect old-growth forests in the 1990s. This format, with general statements foregrounded and examples included as insets, is effective and engaging, and Bond’s acrylic illustrations depict realistic scenes with a crisp vibrancy. Put this one in the hands of budding scientists, environmentalists and nature lovers. (selected bibliography) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-56145-474-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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