Lively and wondrous—readers will be star-struck.



This biography of astronomer Edwin Hubble, once a boy looking up at the night sky, is a tribute to his life’s work and the joys of staying curious.

When he was n he was a boy, Edwin’s mother and grandfather were supportive of his interests, but when he was older, his father forbade him from studying astronomy. Hubble spent years working as a teacher, but his mind continued to dwell in the stars. After his father’s death, he followed his dreams, worked at Mount Wilson Observatory, studied galaxies, and proved both that the universe is much bigger than was previously thought—depicted in a striking double gatefold—and that it is expanding. The spreads featuring sprawling night skies dotted with stars are especially beguiling. And the book’s lovely pacing affords ample space to pay tribute to the sense of wonder that guided Hubble throughout his life, the repeated refrain being a set of three questions, printed in silver type, that haunted him: “How many stars are in the sky? How did the universe begin? Where did it come from?” The portion of the book about his discovery that the Andromeda Nebula is a separate galaxy gives credit where it’s due, paying tribute to Henrietta Swan Leavitt, an astronomer whose work came before Hubble’s. The story’s concluding direct address to readers—“Look….Look up at the stars”—is genuinely inspiring. All characters are White. Backmatter provides more details on Hubble’s discoveries and includes a bibliography.

Lively and wondrous—readers will be star-struck. (Picture book/biography. 6-12.)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-59270-317-3

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere.

1001 BEES

This book is buzzing with trivia.

Follow a swarm of bees as they leave a beekeeper’s apiary in search of a new home. As the scout bees traverse the fields, readers are provided with a potpourri of facts and statements about bees. The information is scattered—much like the scout bees—and as a result, both the nominal plot and informational content are tissue-thin. There are some interesting facts throughout the book, but many pieces of trivia are too, well trivial, to prove useful. For example, as the bees travel, readers learn that “onion flowers are round and fluffy” and “fennel is a plant that is used in cooking.” Other facts are oversimplified and as a result are not accurate. For example, monofloral honey is defined as “made by bees who visit just one kind of flower” with no acknowledgment of the fact that bees may range widely, and swarm activity is described as a springtime event, when it can also occur in summer and early fall. The information in the book, such as species identification and measurement units, is directed toward British readers. The flat, thin-lined artwork does little to enhance the story, but an “I spy” game challenging readers to find a specific bee throughout is amusing.

Friends of these pollinators will be best served elsewhere. (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-500-65265-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2021

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A quick flight but a blast from first to last.


From the Everything Awesome About… series

A charged-up roundup of astro-facts.

Having previously explored everything awesome about both dinosaurs (2019) and sharks (2020), Lowery now heads out along a well-traveled route, taking readers from the Big Bang through a planet-by-planet tour of the solar system and then through a selection of space-exploration highlights. The survey isn’t unique, but Lowery does pour on the gosh-wow by filling each hand-lettered, poster-style spread with emphatic colors and graphics. He also goes for the awesome in his selection of facts—so that readers get nothing about Newton’s laws of motion, for instance, but will come away knowing that just 65 years separate the Wright brothers’ flight and the first moon landing. They’ll also learn that space is silent but smells like burned steak (according to astronaut Chris Hadfield), that thanks to microgravity no one snores on the International Space Station, and that Buzz Aldrin was the first man on the moon…to use the bathroom. And, along with a set of forgettable space jokes (OK, one: “Why did the carnivore eat the shooting star?” “Because it was meteor”), the backmatter features drawing instructions for budding space artists and a short but choice reading list. Nods to Katherine Johnson and NASA’s other African American “computers” as well as astronomer Vera Rubin give women a solid presence in the otherwise male and largely White cast of humans. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A quick flight but a blast from first to last. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-35974-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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