HEROES OF THE ENVIRONMENT

TRUE STORIES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE HELPING TO PROTECT OUR PLANET

Introducing a dozen North American eco-activists, most of them teenagers or younger adults, Rohmer conveys one inspirational success story after another. With the notable exception of El Hijo Del Santo, a Mexican masked wrestler who stages public events to draw attention to a range of environmental issues, the “heroes” here at least began their work on a local, grassroots level. Alex Lin coordinates an initiative to refurbish discarded computers and other e-waste; Debby Tewa promotes and installs solar-power systems on Arizona’s Hopi Reservation; as a teenager Erica Fernandez stood up to protest the planned construction of a huge natural-gas pipeline through her California town. The author largely steers clear of technical details—which makes John Todd’s invention of biological-waste filters and Kelydra Welcker’s development of a method of testing water for the pollutant C-8 appear easier than seems likely—but provides plenty of encouragement for concerned young readers. Two-toned art and small, murky black-and-white photos add further notes of earnest purpose. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6779-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2009

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WEATHER

Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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