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EARTHRISE

APOLLO 8 AND THE PHOTO THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

For any fan of Earth.

A compelling look at the history of one of NASA’s most iconic photographs.

In 1968, at a time of worldwide instability, NASA’s Apollo 8 mission accomplished the historic feat of the first manned spacecraft not only to leave Earth’s orbit, but also to enter that of the moon. And from that most distant and alien of perspectives, the three white astronauts snapped a color photo of their planet Earth. Called Earthrise, the photograph stirred the imaginations of people around the globe as they looked at themselves for the first time as inhabitants of one world from over 220,000 miles away. Gladstone’s prose is factual but richly so, as he puts historical record and mission transcripts to effective use to recapture the amazement and unity inspired by this momentous first in space travel. Not to be outdone, Lundy’s illustrations are almost minimalist in their simple lines and shading and swathes of color that nonetheless provide intricate emotional detail, from the tension of mission control to the inky wonder of space to the exhilaration of the racially diverse public, including one young, brown-skinned space enthusiast in afro puffs. An understated but arresting double-page spread presents Earthrise as a visual climax even as a figurative hush falls over the narrative. Despite what feels like a slightly obvious attempt at relevance with not-so-subtle messages of unity in the face of global unrest, the book’s whole far outweighs the sum of its parts.

For any fan of Earth. (Nonfiction picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77147-316-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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HELLO AUTUMN!

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard.

Rotner follows Hello Spring (2017) with this salute to the fall season.

Name a change seen in northern climes in fall, and Rotner likely covers it here, from plants, trees, and animals to the food we harvest: seeds are spread, the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and fall (and are raked up and jumped in), some animals migrate, and many families celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. As in the previous book, the photographs (presented in a variety of sizes and layouts, all clean) are the stars here, displaying both the myriad changes of the season and a multicultural array of children enjoying the outdoors in fall. These are set against white backgrounds that make the reddish-orange print pop. The text itself uses short sentences and some solid vocabulary (though “deep sleep” is used instead of “hibernate”) to teach readers the markers of autumn, though in the quest for simplicity, Rotner sacrifices some truth. In several cases, the addition of just a few words would have made the following oversimplified statements reflect reality: “Birds grow more feathers”; “Cranberries float and turn red.” Also, Rotner includes the statement “Bees store extra honey in their hives” on a page about animals going into deep sleep, implying that honeybees hibernate, which is false.

Bruce Goldstone’s Awesome Autumn (2012) is still the gold standard. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3869-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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I WANT TO BE A SCIENTIST

From the I Can Read! series

An informative and accessible child’s-eye view of STEM careers.

Aspiring young scientists, take heed!

Traveling on a ship to the North Pole would seem an adventure in itself, but the young, unnamed narrator, whose mother heads up a team of marine biologists, also gets to meet eight other scientists involved in other specialties. On almost every page of this early reader, we encounter someone engaged in different fieldwork: a hydrologist, a microbiologist, a geologist, a seismologist, a climate scientist, a meteorologist, a zoologist, and an astronomer. As the narrator thinks about careers in science, more specialty roles—botanist, epidemiologist, and physicist—are added to the list. The work of these scientists is clearly and simply explained. (Appended is a short list with descriptions of 10 specialties.) The unfussy illustrations are washed in glowing colors, with many shades of blue; when snow forms the background, the scientists’ bright jackets pop. The ship itself is a fire-engine red. Beginners might need help reading or pronouncing some of the researchers’ special fields, but overall this is an engaging introduction to a wide and important area of work. The scientists include men and women and are racially diverse. The narrator and Mom are light-skinned; the child uses crutches.

An informative and accessible child’s-eye view of STEM careers. (Early reader/nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2024

ISBN: 9780062989659

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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