An overcrowded if heartfelt testament to a lifetime of concern for the natural world.

Photographs and examples from years of travel and wildlife observation support this introduction to current wildlife threats.

Humans are causing the sixth mass extinction in the animal world, but humans can also be part of the solution asserts Groc in her plea to restore nature’s balance. Opening with a depressing chapter of examples of disappearing species, she continues in a more positive vein, explaining how scientists study the issue. She points out possible remedies and concludes with a chapter offering ways readers can be involved. She explains important concepts—extinction, ecosystems, habitat, and climate change—and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The bulk of her narrative consists of anecdotes from her own experiences around the world: in old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest; on the Laysan Islands in the Pacific; in Alaska, Namibia, and the Galápagos; and more. Interrupting the narrative are full-page sidebars with stories of specific encounters and organized measures taken to protect wildlife. Words defined in the backmatter glossary are set off typographically within the text. The author/illustrator makes her call for action even more personal by including photos of her own children interacting with the natural world. But she has so many stories. With wave after wave of examples, she almost drowns the message. Nancy Castaldo’s Back From the Brink (2018) covers the same territory more succinctly.

An overcrowded if heartfelt testament to a lifetime of concern for the natural world. (resources, acknowledgments, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1685-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019


From the Giants of Science series

Hot on the heels of the well-received Leonardo da Vinci (2005) comes another agreeably chatty entry in the Giants of Science series. Here the pioneering physicist is revealed as undeniably brilliant, but also cantankerous, mean-spirited, paranoid and possibly depressive. Newton’s youth and annus mirabilis receive respectful treatment, the solitude enforced by family estrangement and then the plague seen as critical to the development of his thoughtful, methodical approach. His subsequent squabbles with the rest of the scientific community—he refrained from publishing one treatise until his rival was dead—further support the image of Newton as a scientific lone wolf. Krull’s colloquial treatment sketches Newton’s advances in clearly understandable terms without bogging the text down with detailed explanations. A final chapter on “His Impact” places him squarely in the pantheon of great thinkers, arguing that both his insistence on the scientific method and his theories of physics have informed all subsequent scientific thought. A bibliography, web site and index round out the volume; the lack of detail on the use of sources is regrettable in an otherwise solid offering for middle-grade students. (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-05921-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006



Entomophobes will find all of this horrifyingly informative.

This junior edition of Stewart’s lurid 2011 portrait gallery of the same name (though much less gleeful subtitle) loses none of its capacity for leaving readers squicked-out.

The author drops a few entries, notably the one on insect sexual practices, and rearranges toned-down versions of the rest into roughly topical sections. Beginning with the same cogent observation—“We are seriously outnumbered”—she follows general practice in thrillers of this ilk by defining “bug” broadly enough to include all-too-detailed descriptions of the life cycles and revolting or deadly effects of scorpions and spiders, ticks, lice, and, in a chapter evocatively titled “The Enemy Within,” such internal guests as guinea worms and tapeworms. Mosquitoes, bedbugs, the ubiquitous “Filth Fly,” and like usual suspects mingle with more-exotic threats, from the tongue-eating louse and a “yak-killer hornet” (just imagine) to the aggressive screw-worm fly that, in one cited case, flew up a man’s nose and laid hundreds of eggs…that…hatched. Morrow-Cribbs’ close-up full-color drawings don’t offer the visceral thrills of the photos in, for instance, Rebecca L. Johnson’s Zombie Makers (2012) but are accurate and finely detailed enough to please even the fussiest young entomologists.

Entomophobes will find all of this horrifyingly informative. (index, glossary, resource lists) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61620-755-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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