A lively presentation of an unusual subject, a hidden and little-known part of our natural world.

READ REVIEW

LITTLE MONSTERS OF THE OCEAN

METAMORPHOSIS UNDER THE WAVES

The ocean teems with microscopic organisms that develop and transform through metamorphosis into more-familiar creatures such as crabs, giant clams, slipper lobsters, and jellies.

After introducing her six monsters—trochophores, veligers, planulae, phyllosomae, zoeae, and gnathiid pranizae—science writer Montgomery goes on chapter by chapter to define the general concept of metamorphosis, show how larvae and adults have different foods and lead different lives, explain how and why larvae move around, describe the different kinds of help mothers provide, offer examples of what controls these developmental changes, and share some of the many mysteries that remain about the process. A breezy, chatty text addresses readers directly using informal terms such as “tippy top” and “cowabunga!”—as well as numerous exclamation points. It’s broken up with headings, boxes, and colorful photographs, making this unfamiliar topic more accessible. Since the likely audience is old enough to know how to use an index or a glossary, it is unfortunate that the ones provided are so limited. There is “one sweet little chart” that will help enormously, showing the names of all creatures mentioned as larvae, in additional stages, and as adults. Readers who already know about tadpoles and frogs, caterpillars and butterflies on land will be intrigued to discover a similar process in the ocean.

A lively presentation of an unusual subject, a hidden and little-known part of our natural world. (author’s note, life stages, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2898-7

Page Count: 60

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An outstanding case study in how science is actually done: funny, nuanced, and perceptive.

THE FIRST DINOSAUR

HOW SCIENCE SOLVED THE GREATEST MYSTERY ON EARTH

How does a new, truly revolutionary idea become established scientific fact?

Lendler spins his account of how the awesome age and significance of fossils came to be understood into a grand yarn that begins 168 million years ago. He fast-forwards to 1676 and the first recorded fossil fragment of what was later named Megalosaurus and builds on the premise of “The Blind Men and the Elephant” to trace the ensuing, incremental accretion of stunning evidence over the next two centuries that the Earth is far older than the Bible seems to suggest and was once populated by creatures that no longer exist. It’s a story that abounds in smart, colorful characters including Mary Anning, Richard Owen (a brilliant scholar but “a horrible human being”), and Gideon Mantell, “a dude who really, really loved fossils.” Along the way the author fills readers in on coprolites (“the proof was in the pooing”), highlights the importance of recording discoveries, and explains how the tentative suggestion that certain fossils might have come from members of the “Lizard Tribe” morphed into the settled concept of “dinosaur.” Though he tells a Eurocentric tale, the author incorporates references to sexism and class preconceptions into his picture of scientific progress. Butzer’s illustrations add decorative and, sometimes, comical notes to sheaves of side notes, quotations, charts, maps, and period portraits and images.

An outstanding case study in how science is actually done: funny, nuanced, and perceptive. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2700-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue...

TRAILBLAZERS

33 WOMEN IN SCIENCE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

With STEM now the hot trend in education and concerted efforts to encourage girls to explore scientific fields, this collective biography is most timely.

Swaby offers 33 brief profiles of some of the world’s most influential women in science, organized in loose groupings: technology and innovation, earth and stars, health and medicine, and biology. Some of the figures, such as Mary Anning, Rachel Carson, Florence Nightingale, Sally Ride, and Marie Tharp, have been written about for young readers, but most have not. Among the lesser known are Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who invented Kevlar; Yvonne Brill, the Canadian engineer who invented a thruster used in satellites; Elsie Widdowson, the British nutritionist who demonstrated how important fluid and salt are for the body to properly function; and Italian neuroembryologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who made breakthrough discoveries in nerve-cell growth. Swaby emphasizes that most of these scientists had to overcome great obstacles before achieving their successes and receiving recognition due to gender-based discrimination. She also notes that people are not born brilliant scientists and that it’s through repeated observation, experimentation, and testing of ideas that important discoveries are made.

An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue their own scientific curiosities. (source notes, bibliography) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-55396-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more