Introductions to select common units of length, mass/weight, and intensity.
Clean page design and a tidily diverse cast of cartoon measurers and observers illustrating each example dress up but can’t disguise a narrative that is marred with errors, arbitrary entries, and oversimplifications. The misinformation begins with a claim that intergalactic—and, a few pages later, interstellar—distances are measured in astronomical units. It then goes on to define “month” as “the amount of time it takes the Moon to orbit the Earth, or about 30 days,” aver that “fortnight” is being used more and more by “Yanks,” and list the indeterminate “eon” as a unit of measure just like “year” and “millennium.” Fiedler explains the more or less self-evident term “light-year” but not “parsec” (in an entry that does not take the time to clear up the confusion about AUs) and correctly but uselessly suggests that doughnuts as well as molecules can be numbered in “moles.” She also neglects to mention that the boiling point of water varies with altitude or that decibels and Richter scale numbers are logarithmic. A stereotypically dressed Mexican sampling hot peppers for the Scoville scale and a penguin posing next to an igloo at the South Pole sour Kearney’s generally comical art.
Unmeasured nonsense. (abbreviated table of conversions) (Nonfiction. 7-9)