Clearly organized and accessibly written, this is a welcome overview.

REWILDING

GIVING NATURE A SECOND CHANCE

From reintroducing keystone species and making wildlife corridors to sharing city space and engineering de-extinction, people are working to rethink the relationship between humans and the natural world.

This evenhanded introduction to the concept of rewilding is lavishly illustrated with stock photographs breaking up the text and adding appeal for middle-grade and middle school readers. Topics are covered each to a double-page spread, presenting first rationale and definitions (rewilding, cores, corridors, and keystone species) and then examples from around the world, both species- and place-specific. The authors, Canadian sisters with a long track record of successful books about the natural world, write with an immediacy that will appeal to nature-loving readers, who will learn about efforts to restore habitats and repopulate them with native species. They discuss animals from trumpeter swans and American eels to butterflies and jaguars. There are success stories: peregrine falcons, back from the brink of extinction, live on city skyscrapers alongside humans; some commercial cod fishing has returned to Newfoundland. There are problems: no one has yet discovered where eels spawn; there isn’t enough room in a Netherlands wetland for the keystone species that would keep introduced herbivores in check. And there are interesting new wild spaces: the High Line in New York City; the demilitarized zone between the Koreas.

Clearly organized and accessibly written, this is a welcome overview. (glossary, sources, further reading, photo credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-55451-962-0

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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A coherent if unexceptional overview of the subject given a solid boost by the visuals.

EXPLORING SPACE

FROM GALILEO TO THE MARS ROVER AND BEYOND

Finely detailed cutaway views of spacecraft and satellites launch a broad account of space exploration’s past, present, and near future.

Jenkins begins with the journey of Voyager I, currently the “most distant man-made object ever,” then goes back to recap the history of astronomy, the space race, and the space-shuttle program. He goes on to survey major interplanetary probes and the proliferating swarm of near-Earth satellites, then closes with reflections on our current revived interest in visiting Mars and a brief mention of a proposed “space elevator.” This is all familiar territory, at least to well-read young skywatchers and would-be astronauts, and despite occasional wry observations (“For longer stays [in space], things to consider include staying fit and healthy, keeping clean, and not going insane”) it reads more like a digest than a vivid, ongoing story. Biesty’s eye for exact, precise detail is well in evidence in the illustrations, though, and if one spread of generic residents of the International Space Station is the only place his human figures aren’t all white and male, at least he offers riveting depictions of space gear and craft with every last scientific instrument and structural element visible and labeled.

A coherent if unexceptional overview of the subject given a solid boost by the visuals. (index, timeline, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8931-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Enlightening, if not always easily legible, ruminations on the value of being in the dark.

DARK MATTERS

NATURE'S REACTION TO LIGHT POLLUTION

Reflections on the ways that artificial light upsets patterns and behaviors in the natural world.

Galat (Stories of the Aurora,2016, etc.) spins childhood memories into semifictive reminiscences. Between recalling lying on her back in the snow at 10 to trace the Big Dipper and describing links between light pollution and several environmental issues as a grown-up naturalist, the author recalls camping trips and other excursions at various ages. These offer, at least tangentially, insights into how artificial lighting could affect nocturnal insects, sea turtle hatchlings, bats, and migratory birds, as well as the general hunting, mating, and nesting behaviors of animals. She closes, after a quick mention of scotobiology (the study of life in darkness), with a plea to turn off the lights whenever possible. Though she does not support this general appeal with specific practices or, for that matter, source notes for her information, she does offer a list of internet search terms for readers who want to explore the topic further. Despite illustrations that range from a close-up of a road-kill raccoon to pointless filler and passages that, paradoxically, are hard to read except in bright light because they’re printed over speckled fields of stars, this outing covers a topic that should be of interest to young stargazers and scotobiologists alike.

Enlightening, if not always easily legible, ruminations on the value of being in the dark. (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-88995-515-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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