PASSION AND POISON

TALES OF SHAPE-SHIFTERS, GHOSTS, AND SPIRITED WOMEN

A slim volume of seven stories, ranging from shivery to downright chilling, meant to be told or read aloud. Del Negro uses traditional folklore motifs in these brief tales, but grounds them in precise language. There’s a version of “Mr. Fox” called “The Severed Hand” and an inventive use of The Green Man figure in the last story, “Hide and Seek.” There, a mean girl called Little Debbie gets her scary comeuppance. In the “Sea Child,” a mourning mother rescues a lost babe with the help of its ghostly mother; in “Rosie Hopewell,” a drunken and abusive father gets his due, possibly from a drowned kitten. The language is cadenced and carefully chosen, and Natale’s black-and-white illustrations are properly spectral and modestly elegant. Teens young and old will enjoy these gothic tales. (Short stories/horror. 12-15)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7614-5361-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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DROUGHTS

This technical, comprehensive entry in the Dangerous Weather series explores the mystery of rain and what happens when it does not come. Allaby (Tornadoes, p. 1384) first defines drought before discussing the reasons for and results of long periods without rain. Readers will gain a clear understanding of scientific terms that are in use, about air movements in the tropics and subtropics, subtropical deserts, desert life, precipitation, evaporation, ocean currents, jet streams, blocking highs, and more. As with the previous book, it may not interest general readers, but it will make research a breeze and may inspire further inquiries into the subject of droughts and water conservation. (b&w photos, drawings, illustrations, charts, graphs, index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-8160-3519-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Facts On File

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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MILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF YEARS AGO

DATING OUR EARTH AND ITS LIFE

In the Venture series, a discussion of scientific dating, including the study of tree rings, strata, varves, carbon remains, thermoluminescence, space rocks, and radioactivity. Using a clear, readable style and helpful drawings, Smith is most successful at presenting earlier methods. But when it comes to methods employing radioactivity, his descriptions are too brief to be very informative—e.g., ``This very difficult method [thermoluminescent dating] has given some useful results in dating pottery, bones, teeth, and volcanic ash that is relatively young, geologically speaking.'' Why difficult? How young is young? In generalizing about complex topics, it's especially important to list sources. None are given here; moreover, though geological dating is a rapidly changing field, more than half the titles listed for ``Further Reading'' are 20 years old or more. A book that attempts too much and falls short. Glossary; index. (Nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-531-12533-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1993

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