Microbes rock! (glossary, index, selected sources) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

UNSEEN WORLDS

REAL-LIFE MICROSCOPIC CREATURES HIDING ALL AROUND US

All manner of tiny living things are introduced in this generously sized French import.

Organized by habitat, each of 10 double-page spreads includes an extra foldout, on which is printed a clever heading and a lyrical introduction. The flap also holds an inset drawing that includes a magnified detail, which is further enlarged on the double-page spread. Here, detailed ink drawings filled with color allow readers to see the tiniest of creatures magnified by as many as 120 times. The conversational text beneath the foldout describes the numbered creatures in the art, offering facts and vocabulary words galore. Cross-referencing is used frequently; tardigrades, for example, appear in a patch of beach sand as well as a tuft of moss. Among the creepier illustrations is the 55x rendition of microscopic beasts in “The Miniature Jungle of Your Bed,” in which light-gray, louselike dust mites march across the enlarged, lavender fibers of a bedspread even as somewhat larger, different mites prey on them. A female of this latter mite carries a dozen babies on her back while several males busily inject into prey “fluid that paralyzes them and liquifies their insides.” An accessible preface and backmatter emphasize the importance of microbes and introduce both taxonomy and the history of microscopes. Ironically, some of the type could use magnification, which readers will need to provide. Quiet humor balances the ick factor.

Microbes rock! (glossary, index, selected sources) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9999680-1-4

Page Count: 36

Publisher: What on Earth Books

Review Posted Online: July 24, 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

A SHOT IN THE ARM!

From the Big Ideas That Changed the World series , Vol. 3

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) narrates this entry in the Big Ideas That Changed the World series, presenting the story of the development of vaccines.

Lady Mary, an intelligent, lovely White Englishwoman, was infected with smallpox in 1715. The disease left her scarred and possibly contributed to the failure of her marriage, but not before she moved with her husband to the Ottoman Empire and learned there of what came to be called variolation. Inoculating people with an attenuated (hopefully) version of smallpox to cause a mild but immunity-producing spell of the disease was practiced by the Ottomans but remained rare in England until Lady Mary, using her own children, popularized the practice during an epidemic. This graphic novel is illustrated with engaging panels of artwork that broaden its appeal, effectively conveying aspects of the story that extend the enthralling narrative. Taking care to credit innovations in immunology outside of European borders, Brown moves through centuries of thoughtful scientific inquiry and experimentation to thoroughly explain the history of vaccines and their limitless value to the world but also delves into the discouraging story of the anti-vaccination movement. Concluding with information about the Covid-19 pandemic, the narrative easily makes the case that a vaccine for this disease fits quite naturally into eons of scientific progress. Thoroughly researched and fascinating, this effort concludes with outstanding backmatter for a rich, accurate examination of the critical role of vaccines.

Essential. (timeline, biographical notes, bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-5001-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more