Almost entirely old news but nevertheless a must for libraries in need of replacement copies.

READ REVIEW

DINOSAUR DISCOVERIES

NEW EDITION

A lightly revised survey of current dino-knowledge, updating the original 2005 edition.

“Lightly” is the key word here, as aside from one partially redrawn illustration and a few minor emendations, the changes are limited to editorial tweaks. Gibbons opens with the great extinction event, shows crews of paleontologists—including several women but all save one white, as before—at work, goes on to profile seven “groups” of dinosaurs from prosauropods to ornithopods, then closes with a link to modern birds. Considering the almost frenetic pace of new fossil discoveries, this is all something of a missed opportunity: There is no mention of Patagotitan mayorum, for instance, the largest land animal ever, nor, aside from the carried-over Archaeopteryx, are feathered dinosaurs represented beyond a specimen of Oviraptor in one illustration that has been recast as Anzu with the addition of a few inconspicuous feathery squiggles on the forelimbs. Still, the toothy T. rex on the cover is as riveting as ever, and despite being so loosely drawn that some Maiasaura are simply relabeled here as Edmontosaurus, another genus entirely, enough dinosaurs crowd the sparely detailed prehistoric scenes within to please even the most demanding fans.

Almost entirely old news but nevertheless a must for libraries in need of replacement copies. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4008-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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Phoned-in illustrations keep this quick overview firmly planted on the launch pad.

THE BIG BEYOND

THE STORY OF SPACE TRAVEL

A capsule history of space exploration, from early stargazing to probes roaming the surface of Mars.

In loosely rhymed couplets Carter’s high-speed account zooms past the inventions of constellations, telescopes, and flying machines to the launches of Sputnik I, the “Saturn Five” (spelled out, probably, to facilitate the rhyme) that put men on the moon, and later probes. He caps it all with an enticing suggestion: “We’ll need an astronaut (or two)— / so what do you think? Could it be YOU?” Cushley lines up a notably diverse array of prospective young space travelers for this finish, but anachronistic earlier views of a dark-skinned astronaut floating in orbit opposite poetic references to the dogs, cats, and other animals sent into space in the 1950s and a model of the space shuttle on a shelf next to a line of viewers watching the televised moon landing in 1969 show no great regard for verisimilitude. Also, his full-page opening picture of the Challenger, its ports painted to look like a smiley face, just moments before it blew up is a decidedly odd choice to illustrate the poem’s opening countdown. As with his cosmological lyric Once upon a Star (2018, illustrated by Mar Hernández), the poet closes with a page of further facts arranged as an acrostic.

Phoned-in illustrations keep this quick overview firmly planted on the launch pad. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-147-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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It’s not the most dramatic version, but it’s a visually effective and serviceable addition to the rapidly growing shelf of...

THE FIRST MEN WHO WENT TO THE MOON

A 50th-anniversary commemoration of the epochal Apollo 11 mission.

Modeling her account on “The House That Jack Built” (an unspoken, appropriate nod to President John F. Kennedy’s foundational role in the enterprise), Greene takes Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins from liftoff to post-splashdown ticker-tape parade. Side notes on some spreads and two pages of further facts with photographs at the end, all in smaller type, fill in select details about the mission and its historical context. The rhymed lines are fully cumulated only once, so there is some repetition but never enough to grow monotonous: “This is the Moon, a mysterious place, / a desolate land in the darkness of space, / far from Earth with oceans blue.” Also, the presentation of the text in just three or fewer lines per spread stretches out the narrative and gives Brundage latitude for both formal and informal group portraits of Apollo 11’s all-white crew, multiple glimpses of our planet and the moon at various heights, and, near the end, atmospheric (so to speak) views of the abandoned lander and boot prints in the lunar dust.

It’s not the most dramatic version, but it’s a visually effective and serviceable addition to the rapidly growing shelf of tributes to our space program’s high-water mark. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58536-412-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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