WHEN FISH GOT FEET, SHARKS GOT TEETH, AND BUGS BEGAN TO SWARM

A CARTOON PREHISTORY OF LIFE LONG BEFORE DINOSAURS

From the When… series , Vol. 2

The author of When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth (2003) continues her droll but dependable tour of deep prehistory, focusing here on the flora, fauna and fungi of the Silurian and Devonian Periods, approximately 360 to 44 million years ago. This was the time when larger forms of life began to emerge on land, while, among the far richer variety of marine animals, fish wriggled to the top, thanks to newly developed jaws which allowed them “to say good-bye to a monotonous diet of teensy stuff. Now fish could grab, slice and dice to their heart’s content.” By the end, soil, forests and, of course, feet had also appeared. Fearlessly folding in tongue-challenging names and mixing simply drawn reconstructions and maps with goofy flights of fancy—on the first spread Robin Mite and Friar Millipede are caught on a stroll through Sherwood Moss Patch, and on the last, genial nautiloid Amphicyrtoceras plugs the previous volume—Bonner serves up a second heaping course of science that will both stick to the ribs and tickle them. (index, resource lists, time line) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-4263-0078-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

1001 BEES

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

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 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

IF YOU LIVED DURING THE PLIMOTH THANKSGIVING

Essential.

A measured corrective to pervasive myths about what is often referred to as the “first Thanksgiving.”

Contextualizing them within a Native perspective, Newell (Passamaquoddy) touches on the all-too-familiar elements of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving and its origins and the history of English colonization in the territory now known as New England. In addition to the voyage and landfall of the Mayflower, readers learn about the Doctrine of Discovery that arrogated the lands of non-Christian peoples to European settlers; earlier encounters between the Indigenous peoples of the region and Europeans; and the Great Dying of 1616-1619, which emptied the village of Patuxet by 1620. Short, two- to six-page chapters alternate between the story of the English settlers and exploring the complex political makeup of the region and the culture, agriculture, and technology of the Wampanoag—all before covering the evolution of the holiday. Refreshingly, the lens Newell offers is a Native one, describing how the Wampanoag and other Native peoples received the English rather than the other way around. Key words ranging from estuary to discover are printed in boldface in the narrative and defined in a closing glossary. Nelson (a member of the Leech Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa) contributes soft line-and-color illustrations of the proceedings. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Essential. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-72637-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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