CYCLE OF RICE, CYCLE OF LIFE

A STORY OF SUSTAINABLE FARMING

A staple food for a large part of the world, rice is a very important crop. But in Bali, as Reynolds reverently explains, rice is life. On this small Indonesian island, farmers have used an intricate water- and crop-rotation system for more than 1,000 years to become one of the world’s largest rice producers while also modeling a successful practice of sustainable farming. Paralleling the cycle of rice itself, Reynolds divides her work into three sections: Water first spills down Balinese volcanoes, a family plants and harvests the rice together and, finally, ducks help to eliminate pests and rejuvenate the soil. Full-color photographs dominate the pages, generously illustrating each step. In a clear and dynamic voice, the author gracefully weaves information on Balinese spiritual ritual practices and the dangers of overproduction into the explanation of this tiny—but oh-so-powerful—grain. (author’s note, map, web resources, glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-60060-254-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2009

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WEATHER

Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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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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